Embedding ESG into decision-making

Accelerating equitable progress in tackling nature loss and the climate emergency are imperatives for 21st century business leaders. Companies with land and ocean-based value chains are at the forefront of action to halt and reverse deforestation, habitat conversion, and overfishing. In collaboration with WWF, WBCSD supports food retailers and suppliers with credible corporate action in (1) embedding business practices with nature, (2) driving transparency through supply chains, and (3) advocating for ambitious policy and standards

    The challenge

    There is no net zero without nature. Net zero goals from governments and business that now cover 70% of the world economy are considered unachievable without ending deforestation within the decade and protecting marine life that absorbs up to 30% of global carbon today. Food retailers and suppliers are under pressure to manage performance against natural resource factors and deliver on their net zero commitments. 

    The business case

    Embedding nature into business practices is also an opportunity. Leading companies have now realized that acting on nature is a chance to win trust with customers and civil society; nine out of ten people in the EU now see biodiversity loss as a serious or very serious issue. Major investors are pledging to eliminate deforestation from their portfolios by 2025; nature action demonstrates mitigation against significant risk exposure and lowers the cost of capital. 

    The solution

    Our work involves collaborating with leading businesses and global standard setters such as the Institute of Internal Auditors, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and other industry bodies to develop the risk management, governance and performance management frameworks that will truly support companies to embed ESG and nature into all aspects of their business. Adopting these resources will help all companies, particularly those in the food sector get in front of nature-related risk, take emerging opportunities and transform to net-zero, nature positive businesses. 

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