Businesses Called to Action: New Report Maps Sector Contributions to Global Goals

Photo by Robert Bye

A new report released by leading sustainability organizations provides a roadmap for businesses across sectors to align their operations with ambitious global goals on biodiversity and sustainable development. Business for Nature, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum have mapped recommended corporate actions in areas like circular economies and resource efficiency against targets within the Global Biodiversity Framework and UN Sustainable Development Goals. With businesses facing increasing responsibility to address societal challenges under these accords, the guide aims to help companies leverage their innovation and scale to contribute to reversing nature loss and building a net-zero, nature-positive and equitable world.

Business for Nature, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum have released a supplementary resource to highlight how the actions businesses take on nature can also contribute to the targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Businesses play a pivotal role in shaping our world. They innovate, enabling the development of new products, services and technologies. They often have a global network through operations spanning multiple sectors and geographies, allowing them to scale up solutions and reach a wide audience, through their customers and employees. They possess a wealth of resources, including financial capital, expertise and technological capabilities. But their impact extends beyond the realm of profit and loss as they also have the potential to contribute significantly to societal goals.

The role of business

In recent years, the recognition of businesses’ role in addressing societal challenges has grown exponentially. The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), adopted at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 in December 2022, explicitly calls on governments to ensure all actors of society play their part in halting and reversing nature loss. This includes businesses, as they have a responsibility to align their business practices with the GBF’s 23 targets. These targets will now be translated into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) which will formalize the role of non-state actors in implementing the Framework.

Similarly, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on businesses to “apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges.” This includes transitioning to circular economies, reducing waste and minimizing resource consumption.

Sector Actions towards a nature-positive future

In September 2023, Business for Nature, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum released priority actions for businesses spanning 12 global sectors. These sector actions serve as a guide to transform business practices and value chains and ensure businesses play their part in halting and reversing nature loss by 2030 – the mission at the heart of the Global Biodiversity Framework. In a new supplementary resource, these priority actions are mapped against the targets of the GBF and the SDGs, enabling businesses to understand how the actions they are taking might contribute to these societal objectives.

A net-zero, nature-positive and equitable world

These global frameworks set the direction for global business action. In turn, by contributing to global objectives, businesses can demonstrate support for ambitious sustainability policies and accelerate the global transition to a net-zero, nature-positive and equitable world.

This article was authored by Zoe Greindl, Business Action Advisor, Business for Nature.

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