World's largest companies ignoring biodiversity risks

1st December 2020

Web bioviversity istock 486383128

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Reporting ,
  • sea ice loss ,
  • Biodiversity ,
  • Global


michelle purkiss

Less than a quarter of the world's largest companies at risk from biodiversity loss are disclosing these threats in their corporate reporting, a global study by KPMG has uncovered.

After reviewing corporate reports from the top 100 companies by revenue in 52 countries and jurisdictions, KPMG found that just 23% of at-risk firms currently disclose biodiversity-related threats.

This is despite scientists warning that the Earth is losing species at a rate 1,000 times greater than at any other time in recorded human history, and roughly $44trn (£33trn) of economic value – over half of global GDP – dependent on nature and its services.

While it is notable that 80% of the world's largest companies now report on sustainability, KPMG warned that biodiversity-related risk remains significantly under-reported by the global business community.

“Many companies currently lack a sophisticated understanding of how biodiversity-related risk could affect their business,“ explained Wim Bartels, study co-author and corporate reporting partner at KPMG in the Netherlands.

“They also lack access to tools and methodologies to help them model and disclose the risk impacts. With the foundation of organisations such as the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), disclosures are likely to take a sharp upward trajectory.“

The study found that Latin American companies are the most likely to report biodiversity-related risk, on 31%, while North American firms are the least likely, on 13%.

Mining was the only industry sector in which a slim majority of companies were found to report biodiversity-related risks, with 51%.

Furthermore, the study found that the two UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focused on addressing the global biodiversity challenge – goals 14 and 15 – are the least prioritised of all the 17 SDGs by businesses worldwide.

“It is critical for all businesses to disclose the risks that biodiversity loss poses to their companies, as well as the impact their companies have on ecosystems,“ said Richard Threlfall, head of KPMG IMPACT. “Our survey suggests that most companies have a long way to go when it comes to providing a full picture of business risks from biodiversity loss.“

Image credit: iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Weather damage insurance claims hit record high

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close