Programme to scale corporate science-based targets for nature reaches milestone

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.

To date, the companies have provided more than 20,000 data points, currently undergoing processing by the target validation team.

The first phase of testing includes science-based targets for freshwater and land-based ecosystems. Additionally, the corporate pilot for science-based targets encompassing seafood value chains is on the verge of initiation.

As of last year, the initial version of freshwater targets encompasses surface water flows, groundwater levels (limited to basins with available local models/thresholds), nutrient pollution (specifically nitrogen and phosphorus), upstream value chain impacts and direct operational factors.

GRI Standard and TNFD

As 2024 began, the new GRI Biodiversity Standard was introduced, incorporating the science-based targets for nature approach. This integration aims to facilitate companies in effectively managing and publicly disclosing their impacts on nature, including biodiversity.

The standard introduces new disclosures concerning the direct drivers of biodiversity loss, encompassing aspects such as land use, climate change, overexploitation, pollution and invasive species.

It also imposes requirements for reporting impacts on society, including those affecting communities and Indigenous Peoples, and outlines how organisations engage with local groups in the restoration of affected ecosystems.

The Standard draws upon key developments from both the SBTN and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).

The TNFD framework was launched in  last year, with an aim to reduce the industrial impact on nature by promoting thorough reporting of businesses’ environmental footprint and effectively incorporating considerations related to nature in their strategies, in line with science-based targets.

At the World Economic Forum’s annual summit in Davos this year, more than 300 businesses, with a combined market capitalisation of $4trn, declared their plans to officially adopt the recommendations of the TNFD.

In their announcement, these businesses pledged to standardise and enhance their reporting on impacts, risks and opportunities related to nature throughout their value chains, both presently and under various future scenarios. Many of them are set to commence reporting in the upcoming financial year.

Given the absence of a standardised vocabulary in nature reporting, in contrast to ‘carbon emissions’ in climate reporting, the SBTN’s effort to formulate science-based targets on nature for businesses is anticipated to empower a growing number of businesses to align their strategies with nature science and effectively mitigate their environmental impacts.


The TNFD’s technical director Emily McKenzie is speaking at edie 24 on 20 March.

She will participate in a panel discussion on how businesses can protect and restore nature, along with expert speakers from FAIRR, the Green Finance Institute, Reckit and the Earth Law Centre.

edie 24 is the brand’s largest face-to-face event of the year and will convene hundreds of sustainability and energy leaders in central London on 20-21 March 2024 for two monumental days of keynote speeches, panel debates, unparallelled networking opportunities, interactive workshops and more.

Experts speaking alongside McKenzie on this year’s packed agenda include:

  • Chris Packham, renowned naturalist and presenter
  • Chris Skidmore MP, author of the Net-Zero Review
  • Claire O’Neill, chair of the WBCSD and former UK Minister for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
  • Chris Stark, outgoing CEO of the Climate Change Committee
  • Rachel Solomon Williams, executive director of the Aldersgate Group
  • Natalie Belu, co-CEO of Belu and independent candidate for London’s Mayoral Elections

Tickets for the event are available now on an individual, group and sharing basis, with a full price list available here.

With places limited, edie users are encouraged to book edie 24 tickets now. You can secure your place here.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie