Survey: Corporate action on nature falling short despite global concern  

The UK will need to increase its investment in nature by at least £44bn to meet its commitments.

The finding is drawn from edie’s inaugural Sustainable Business Tracker Report, based on an in-depth survey of almost 250 business and sustainability leaders from all major UK sectors. The report is exclusively available as part of edie’s new Membership offering.

Nature loss poses risks to more than half of the world’s total GDP, which amounts to $44trn. The imperative for corporate action on nature preservation is therefore crucial for both long-term growth opportunities for businesses as well as restoring the natural environment.

Nonetheless, based on the findings of an in-depth survey of 237 in-house sustainability professionals, conducted in late 2023, the new Tracker reveals that just a third (33%) of corporates consider biodiversity as either ‘business critical’ or ‘high priority’.

In comparison, more than half believe the same about developing a climate transition plan (54%), while approximately 64% consider workplace diversity and inclusion as a priority.

However, respondents from construction companies place a higher priority on biodiversity than any other sector, with nearly 66% deeming it as being either ‘business critical’ or ‘high priority’.

The rise in new regulations mandating a 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG) for upcoming developments likely contributes to this trend.

TNFD focus

Additionally, the launch of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework last year has strengthened the global focus on the need for corporates to disclose their nature-related risks and impacts.

Since its introduction, more than 300 business have signalled their intentions to formally adopt the TNFD recommendations; however, green groups are urging for mandatory enforcement of the TNFD, similar to the Taskforce on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD) framework, to accelerate the adoption.

The TCFD was formed by the Financial Sustainability Board in a bid to encourage the uptake of unified climate risk and opportunity measurement and disclosure across the private sector.

The tracker highlights that the corporate action on nature and biodiversity is unlikely to unfold at the pace required, with just four respondents being hopeful about addressing biodiversity, taking biodiversity measurements or adopting nature-positive strategies in the next 12 months.

Nevertheless, it is hoped that with new regulations such as TNFD in place and only six harvests left to achieve the UK’s 2030 nature targets, the focus on biodiversity and nature restoration will accelerate within this decade.


edie’s latest Sustainable Business Tracker & Sector Insight report provides member organisations with actionable information for making informed sustainability choices.

These quarterly reports derive from comprehensive surveys of business leaders, sustainability experts, and net-zero professionals. Additionally, each report will feature a sector-specific supplement, delving into the unique factors influencing a particular industry’s sustainability landscape.

—GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW OF THE BUSINESS TRACKER HERE—

Comments (1)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    The primary interest of businesses is the profit margin.
    Harsh, but true.

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