Charities help workers to put pressure on employers over nature impacts

Image: James Morgan for WWF

A recent YouGov poll of 1,106 working adults found that nine in ten believe that businesses should consider the impact their business has on nature when making decisions. 70% said they would like to encourage their employer to do so.

Called ‘Nature’s Workforce’, the new platform from the trio of NGOs seeks to empower staff to ask their businesses to disclose their environmental impacts and set out credible plans for change. Staff also have access to resources on sustainable pensions, and how leading businesses are factoring nature-based impacts into key decisions and contracts.

On the former, the Office for National Statistics estimates that only 3% of UK businesses monitor their risks relating to nature.

This may increase now that the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures’ framework has been finalised, but the framework is in its relative infancy and alignment has not been mandated.

Nature’s Workforce provides resources to support workers in completing a five-step approach to engaging with senior decision-makers at their employers on nature-related issues. The steps are:

  • Understanding the ways in which business-as-usual harms nature
  • Learning which actions will have the greatest positive impact
  • Collaborating with colleagues
  • Hosting the first conversation with leadership
  • Following the conversation with action and involving more people

A statement announcing Nature’s Workforce reads: “If we can inspire the 30 million people at work in the UK to think about nature in their day-to-day decisions, just think how powerful that could be to bring real change to our natural environment.”

RSPB and WWF ambassador Deborah Meaden said: “The need to protect and restore nature is something businesses cannot afford to ignore. Without it, supply chains would collapse and most companies couldn’t function. This guide will hopefully spark conversations in firms across the UK and help put nature at the centre of boardroom decisions.”

Recent research from the UK’s Green Finance Institute outlined how, if left unchecked, the degradation of natural ecosystems in the UK and beyond could lead to a 12% drop in the UK’s GDP.

Related feature: Should nature be a part of corporate legal duties?

Related op-ed: Why Faith in Nature appointed nature as a board director

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