Fresh guidance launched for nature-focused science-based targets

The SBTN has this week unveiled its new target-setting guide, with updated technical guidance and resources aimed at helping companies set science-based targets for nature.

Last year, the SBTN launched a global initiative aimed at helping companies evaluate their environmental footprints and explore scientific strategies to mitigate them.

As part of this initiative, a pilot programme was initiated with a group of companies commencing testing in the previous year.

This year, the programme has been joined by a new cohort of 24 companies. Among them are Accenture, Baringa, Berkeley Capital, Carbon Space, Creditnature, Downforce, Dunya Analytics, Heineken, Kuyua, Lenzing, Nala Earth, Novo Nordisk, Perigon Partners, Robobank, Toyota North America, We Don’t Need Roads and Zero Mission.

The corporate pilot programme finished in June and has been used to inform the new guidance to assist companies in setting strong yet feasible targets that are aligned with science. A new manual is available for corporates that acts as an entry point to the technical guidance.

The SBTN will also announce further results from the pilot later this year, using the findings to shape the next iteration of guidance on target setting.

“By definition, science-based targets for nature are ambitious; focusing on place-based action where nature needs it most. As we turn our sights to scaling adoption and impact, we continue our focus on balancing ambition and feasibility,” the SBTN stated in a blog post.

“ We are shaping the next generation of nature targets for 2025 – with further freshwater and land coverage, additional biodiversity integration, implementation and tracking guidance, alongside new ocean and cities targets – and we will continue to respond and adapt to improve feasibility and practicality while maintaining scientific rigor.”

Only 14% of businesses surveyed by CBI said their businesses had no role in supporting nature beyond their legal and regulatory requirements.

Plans to address biodiversity impact were reported to be in place among 62% of firms. This was more likely to be the case in big firms (83%) than in SMEs (53%). Worryingly, across businesses of all sizes, only 15% of business leaders said plans were already being implemented. In comparison, 74% of business leaders said their firms had net-zero carbon emissions plans in place, with 23% saying these plans were already underway.

CDP’s recent data factsheet, which highlights the environmental performance and progress reported by more than 24,000 organisations on the platform in 2023, found that climate and nature disclosures witnessed a 24% surge from the previous year, with most companies reporting greater opportunities than risks.

Additional reading: Is nature-positive business a possibility or paradox?

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