9A. Business, Biodiversity and NbSRead full session summary
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In Session 9A, Business, Biodiversity and NbS, the audience heard from businesses and NGOs about the role of the private sector, including on offsetting, insetting, disclosure and transparency. Cécile Girardin began by highlighting that of the NbS mitigation potential, 40% is from protecting intact ecosystems, another 40% is from better management of working lands, and the remaining 20% from restoration (including tree planting). It is important to avoid deforestation and invest in greening companies’ own supply chains (insetting), over buying carbon credits for tree planting projects.
We heard about the different sustainability and net-zero strategies of a variety of companies, the first of which was Netflix, represented by Alexia Kelly, who told us about Netflix’s goal of achieving net-zero across scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by the end of 2022, and are investing in offsets in the voluntary carbon market, including a portfolio of 17 NbS projects that account for 1.5 million tons of mitigation. They see this as an opportunity to contribute to the climate fight in addition to reducing their own emissions, and to help mobilise climate finance directly to frontline communities. Representing Reckitt, David Croft spoke about private sector investment as both managing risk and creating opportunity, and how investors are seeking ways to strike a balance between these. He mentioned that often the best entry point to intervene is to address livelihoods when working with farming communities, and subsequently climate and biodiversity. Emphasis was placed on the need for strong metrics to demonstrate impact and engage cross-sector stakeholders, as well as to help understand trade-offs.
Stéphanie Paquin-Jaloux from Firmenich spoke about embedding biodiversity into business, following the three steps of assessing, committing to targets, and transforming. They are tracking over 54 indicators, following science-based targets for nature, and have joined groups such as a Business coalition promoting regenerative agriculture and the union for ethical biotrade for guidance, while trying to ensure as much transparency as possible. Keyvan Macedo of Natura &Co told the conference about their three pillars of their sustainability vision: to address the climate crisis and protect nature and biodiversity, to safeguard human rights, and to work towards circularity and regeneration.
All speakers mentioned the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), a younger sister to the better-established Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and how these two frameworks would go to play a big role in private sector disclosure, transparency and accountability. We were then offered some responses and perspectives from non-profit organisations, including Niki Mardas and Andy Boulding, who pointed out that voluntary frameworks such as the TNFD were important for fostering leadership and innovation, but that we also need legislation and due diligence to complement it. He spoke about the finance pledged towards stopping deforestation at COP26, but that it was small compared to the wall of money coming from the other direction – over a trillion dollars in harmful agricultural subsidies. It was positive that the Race to Zero has recently added deforestation-related conditions to their criteria, as “there is no reaching net-zero without tackling deforestation”. However, it was found that the great majority of those in the Race to Zero currently are not making progress on deforestation, bringing up issues of greenwashing. William Baldwin-Cantello addressed the topic of greenwashing, acknowledging that it is indeed happening, but that there are also a huge number of companies who are doing real work and are genuine. On this note, panellists reminded us that we need to not allow “the perfect to be the enemy of the good”, and that when we see a company that is striving to follow, we should support them, versus a company who is in the shadows. Claims of greenwashing should be based on evidence, while disclosure, transparency, reporting, the right metrics, and open-source information and data is key for building trust and credibility. Moreover, offsets must adhere to the mitigation hierarchy, and businesses should follow the corporate climate mitigation blueprint:
- Account & disclose
- Reduce value chain emissions with ambitious science-based target pathway
- Quantify financial commitment by pricing remaining emissions
- Invest the financial commitment for climate and nature impact
– Further emission reductions
– Unlocking other climate solutions – climate innovation
– Carbon credits
- High quality carbon markets could direct investments to ensure greatest social & ecol. benefits.
- Multiple stakeholders must be engaged across sectors, to develop partnerships over the whole value chain.
- Greenwashing is a problem but there are companies genuinely seeking sustainable transformation.
- Greater transparency is required, and there is growing consumer demand for businesses to report impacts.
- There is an urgent need to develop robust metrics and scale up good practices.
Director-Nature Based Insetting | Technical Director-Nature Based Solutions Initiative
I combine years of experience in climate change policy analysis with a background in tropical ecology and thorough understanding of forest ecosystem functioning, providing a unique multidisciplinary approach to my work. As an environmental consultant, I developed strong skills in policy analysis and data manipulation. As researcher for ten years, I developed skills in data gathering and analysis through intensive fieldwork in tropical forests. I am an alumnus of Imperial College, Environmental Resources Management Ltd., the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture UN-REDD+ team, and the Oxford Martin School.
Stephanie Paquin Jaloux
Director for Biodiversity Compliance & Strategy for FirmenichBiodiversity Compliance & Strategy at Firmenich
Stephanie, Director for Biodiversity Compliance & Strategy for Firmenich, has a background in Biology and engineering with a Master of Science in Biology and a Master on Business Administration. Stephanie joined Firmenich in 2017 with more than 15 years of experience working in biodiversity management based in different countries such as Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola and Indonesia. Stephanie has helped creating transversal processes to address biodiversity materiality topics such as related to compliance, responsible sourcing and restoration projects on site. She is also contributing into collective actions by being Vice-Chair of the Nagoya Task Force for IFRA-IOFI associations, Vice Chair of UEBT Board.
Global Director Sustainability, Environment & Human Rights for ReckittInsetting at Reckitt
David is Global Director Sustainability, Environment & Human Rights for Reckitt, the leading global health and home hygiene company which reaches billions of people around the world. He is responsible for their work on environmental and social sustainability around the world, working with farmers, communities and manufacturers across an international supply alongside Reckitt’s global supply chain and brand teams. David has a wealth of leadership experience from major global companies, holding senior roles within Diageo, Kraft Foods and Cadbury, and the UK retailers, Waitrose and the Co-operative Group.
Sustainability Director for Natura &CoSustainability at Natura &Co
Keyvan Macedo started his career in R&D working in the food sector for Unilever Bestfoods. He joined Natura in 2005 and five years later he shifted his career to the Sustainability area to run the Climate Change and Environmental Impact operation. In this position, he was responsible for defining models to assess the environmental impact of all the products and packaging design in the company's global pipeline, connecting sustainability to the overall business strategy. He is currently the Sustainability Director for Natura &Co, the global beauty group comprising Avon, Natura, The Body Shop and Aesop, responsible for the implementation of 2030 Sustainability Vision – Commitment to Life.
Pedro Moura Costa
Founder and Director of BVRio Environmental Exchange
Dr Pedro Moura Costa has been involved in climate policy, carbon finance and GHG mitigation projects since 1991, when he developed the first carbon-funded projects worldwide. In 1996, he founded EcoSecurities Group Plc, responsible for a portfolio of more than 700 GHG mitigation projects worldwide. More recently, Pedro co-founded BVRio Environmental Exchange, a Brazilian non-profit organisation, and developed the Circular Action Hub for circular economy. Pedro is a director of Oxford Climate Policy, Fellow of IETA, Steering Committee member of VCMI, and was an IPCC Lead Author.
Director, Nature-based Solutions at World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF)-UK
William is the Director of Nature-based Solutions at WWF-UK, leading a team delivering on the exciting Climate Solutions Partnership between WWF, HSBC and WRI on Nature-based Solutions, energy transition in Asia and low-carbon business models. He also oversees WWF’s role in the Trillion Trees joint venture with BirdLife and WCS, to accelerate finance for and delivery of forest protection and restoration. Previously, he led on science and strategy on forest conservation as the Chief Adviser on Forests at WWF-UK (2014-2021). Before joining WWF, William spent six years working for the UK Government on international environment and development policy.
Executive Director at Global Canopy
Niki Mardas is the Executive Director of Global Canopy - an organisation that targets the market forces behind nature loss. He has been with Global Canopy since 2007, becoming Executive Director in 2016. He has overseen a period of rapid expansion as the organisation has sharpened its strategic focus on the market forces destroying nature and developed new partnerships around the world. This has included the development of major data-driven initiatives – including Forest 500, Trase, ENCORE and the nascent Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). Niki has been at the forefront of the environmental crisis for over two decades, using data to drive change in boardrooms.