A new framework developed by IEMA to help businesses act on biodiversity loss and contribute towards nature restoration has officially launched today.
The Nature Positive Business Pledge has also been developed in partnership with the UK Business & Biodiversity Forum, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, WSP, the Aldersgate Group and ICC United Kingdom.
It launches with support from major organisations across the infrastructure, transport, utilities and construction sectors, including BAM UK & Ireland and South Western Railway.
Signatories are expected to develop a ‘nature positive plan’, which includes undertaking a materiality assessment to identify where and how the organisation depends on and impacts nature.
They must also identify a nature baseline and assess their impact relative to this, and set SMART and costed targets to address the business dependencies and impacts on nature.
Signatories will then annually assess progress and submit a report guided by the Pledge’s core principles, which centre around applying the mitigation hierarchy to all facets of the business and generating long-term benefits for nature.
Seeking to achieve net gain or net positive outcomes, and assuming a worst case impact on nature scenario where there is lack of evidence or information, are also among the guiding principles.
IEMA CEO, Sarah Mukherjee MBE, said: “Establishing the Nature Positive Business Pledge could not come at a more critical time as businesses both domestically and internationally set about implementing what was agreed at COP15.
“By providing a practical approach, the initiative will place businesses on the front foot in terms of playing their role in reducing biodiversity loss and working towards nature restoration. IEMA urges businesses to engage."
Initial details around the Pledge were released during COP15 last year, which concluded with a landmark agreement to “halt and reverse” biodiversity loss by the end of the decade.
It is for organisations of all sizes and sectors that want to reduce negative impacts on nature and play their part in its restoration – recognising that different sectors face unique challenges – and aims to offer them support in their journey to nature positive.
“Transformative and collective action is urgently needed to reverse the loss of biodiversity,” said Mark Johnston, Chair and Director of the UK Business & Biodiversity Forum.
“Businesses play a critical role in making this happen, and this Nature Positive Business Pledge provides the necessary clarity on what is needed.”
Find out more about the Pledge here.