Businesses are putting pressure on countries to reduce biodiversity loss at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known as COP 15.
The conference was launched on December 7, in Montreal, Canada, and will conclude on December 19.
Since October 26, Ansa Merchant Bank Ltd (AMBL) and 330 business and finance institutions, worth over $1.5 trillion, urged governments to move beyond voluntary actions to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. The goal is to "transform the rules of the economic game and require business to act now," an AMBL media release said.
Companies attached to this initiative include: Aviva Investors, GSK, H&M Group, Holcim, IKEA, Mahindra Group, McCain Foods, Natura &Co, Nestlé, Rabobank, Roche, Tata Steel, Unilever and Yara.
The release said with the worsening of the biodiversity crisis, businesses from 52 countries recognise the role they must play in addressing their impacts.
In the release, AMBL announced its support for the delivery of a once-in-a-decade global biodiversity framework (GBF).
It urged world leaders to adopt mandatory requirements for large businesses to assess their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity, by 2030. Through a COP15 business statement, companies have declared their critical role in halting and reversing nature loss.
Through the statement, firms have outlined the voluntary actions they will take toward assessing "their impacts and dependencies on nature, disclosing material nature-related information and transforming their business strategies to protect and restore natural ecosystems."
A recent report published by Business for Nature, Capitals Coalition and CDP said if assessment and disclosure on nature were mandatory, "it would help create fairer competition for business, increase accountability, engage investors and consumers, support small and medium-sized enterprises to minimise their nature dependencies through supply chains and help ensure the rights of indigenous peoples’ and local communities."
The report warned that a lack of data meant "businesses make decisions inefficiently, ineffectively and sometimes damaging shareholder value as well as the value of the natural world and the communities who depend on it."
To mitigate against this lack of data, AMBL and Ansa Bank have launched the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, in partnership with the Cropper Foundation and the Capitals Coalition.
The release said, "In demonstrating its commitment to advancing a nature positive Caribbean, AMBL and Ansa Bank commit to utilising the Natural Capital Protocol to identify, quantify, and then disclose publicly how their operations affect, or are reliant on Nature’s resources. Where the impact is a negative one, the banks will take steps to offset or mitigate to ensure the durability of natural assets."
At the launch of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, A Norman Sabga, executive chairman of the ANSA McAL Group and chairman of AMBL, said, "We have always been conscious of our duty to operate our businesses responsibly in the interest of our employees, investors, customers, and the broader society. For us, sustainability is not just about delivering profits and growth. It is about creating a positive impact so that our stakeholders are better off because we exist."
Managing director of AMBL Gregory Hill said, "We believe that the private sector plays a significant role in advancing nature positive development, but we cannot do it alone. Turning the tide towards sustainability requires coordinated action and commitments around nature-related disclosures by the private sector, government and civil society."
The full report and response are available at: https://www.businessfornature.org/make-it-mandatory-campaign.
For more information and to join the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub, please visit: www.tt.ansamerchantbank.com/natural-capital