Guidance on corporate targets and measurements is coming for the land sector after the announcement of qualitative global commitments. When cutting carbon emissions for the good of the planet became a corporate responsibility, in some ways it was an easy sell to CEOs. Along with the reputational benefits, companies were also able to work toward energy efficiency and reduced costs under the guise of ‘going green’. There was also an easy, quantifiable number to work toward – net zero. These factors have allowed climate targets to see enormous proliferation and uptake from corporations.
“We do not have that same narrative on the nature side,” said Martha Stevenson, senior director of strategy and research on the forest team at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “It’s a much more dire narrative that the systems and processes that you depend on are not going to be working anymore and you don’t value them because you’ve never had to.”
Organisations are working on creating metrics for biodiversity and nature that retroactively correctly value those ecosystems and thus encourage greater uptake and attention from businesses. It’s easier for sustainability actions and programs to get leadership buy in and thus off the ground when there are quantifiable measurements, clear goals and hard numbers – something that will be more nuanced for nature.