Stocksak: Global firms call for mandatory disclosures by governments on nature

© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO Activists of the Extinction Rebellion protest at the C40 World Mayors Summit on Climate Change, in Buenos Aires (Argentina), October 21, 2022. REUTERS/Cristina Sille

By Juliette Portala

(Stocksak). – Wednesday’s action by more than 330 businesses was to urge world leaders to require large companies to disclose their impacts on nature by 2030. This is ahead of the COP15 global talks about biodiversity in December.

Signatories of the COP15 Business Statement, which include GSK, H&M Group and Nestle and which have combined annual revenues of more than $1.5 trillion, said the world needed to move past voluntary reporting rules.

“Improving the planet’s health requires bold, decisive action by policymakers and businesses. There have been some improvements, but not enough,” Rebecca Marmot from Unilever (NYSE:), chief sustainability officer, said.

While regulators have called for more thorough reporting on companies’ efforts to combat climate change and their environmental impact, there has not been a similar focus on the company’s wider impact on nature and biodiversity.

At the COP15 talks in Montreal, countries will try to reach an agreement on a Global Biodiversity Framework that will help to combat the crisis that threatens more than one million species of animal and plant life.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2021 report, 17% of the planet’s land is currently protected and 7% of the oceans are under some form of conservation.

The 330 businesses stated that disclosure and assessment are essential first steps to generate action. However, it will not have any impact if it becomes mandatory.

Andre Hoffmann, Vice-Chairman at Roche Holdings, stated that “nature recovery is within reach, provided we all take action now”, while the joint statement “shows support from major business for an ambitious global deal to protect nature”.

Unilever, for example, stated that it had committed to a non-deforestation supply chain by 2023. This means that its palm oil and paper, as well as board, tea and soy, will not be sourced from areas where natural ecosystems are being converted into farmland.

However, the rules are mostly voluntary. Many corporations don’t report, or do not report at all. This can make it difficult for investors to compare their impact and hold them accountable.

Eva Zabey, executive Director at the global coalition Business for Nature stated, “Without these information, we’re flying blind into extinction.”

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Stocksak Editorial

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