Nature Positive Energy
2024 Community of Practice

Nature Positive is not just a destination, it is a mindset and a way of working that ensures economic activity no longer harms the natural world but actively invests in its stewardship, protection and restoration.

At BFBI, We believe that Every Business, Every Person,
has an important role to play in the transition to a Nature Positive economy for Ireland.

Rationale

Since work started on Business for Biodiversity Ireland in 2021, the need to convene and facilitate meaningful conversations was identified.

The Platform initially formed a multi-sector community of practice so we could explore the prevailing frameworks with real businesses in the Irish context. The next phase of this workstream is the development of sector-specific communities of practice (SSCoP).

The aim of these SSCoP is to convene all actors and stakeholders within a sector and collectively forge a path forward to a nature positive future.

We believe that collective thinking and collective action will produce the most successful outcomes for people, nature and climate.

SSCoP Convene

In-person, three times per year

What is it?

A community of practice is a group of people who share a common concern, are facing similar issues, or are striving to reach similar goals.

The SSCoP will convene in-person, three times per year. At the end of each annual cycle, we will produce a set of guidelines for the sector.

These guidelines will be reviewed and updated at the end of each annual cycle.

Why energy?

Energy is produced in different ways, utilising solid, gaseous and liquid materials. It exists as electricity, heat and fuel and it is an important part of daily life.

The energy system includes all aspects of production, conversion, storage, distribution and use and it is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

The energy sector is a high-impact sector, has varied and significant impacts on the natural world and these impacts present risks to businesses and the economy. Equally, this sector has massive potential to activate positive impacts on biodiversity. To play our part in reducing global emissions by at least 45% by 2030, Ireland’s energy sector must work collaboratively to phase out all fossil fuel use while investing in our renewables infrastructure.

The European Commission revised Renewable Energy Directive (EU/2023/2413) entered into force in November 2023 for all EU Countries. This revised directive increases the EU’s binding renewable target for 2030 to a minimum of 42.5%, previously the target was 32% (EC, ND(b)). In addition, reducing energy consumption is essential to bring down both emissions and energy costs for consumers and industry.

The European Commission proposes to increase energy efficiency targets at EU level and make them binding, to achieve by 2030 an overall reduction of 36-39% for final and primary energy consumption (EC, ND(b)). In 2023, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released a “Roadmap to Nature Positive: Foundations for the Energy Sector” guidance document and Business for Nature developed a Nature Strategy Handbook.

These important resources will help guide us through the process of assessing sectoral impacts and dependencies on nature, committing to meaningful targets and transforming Ireland’s energy sector.

What is the commitment?

  1. Partners must actively contribute to realising Ireland’s Vision for Biodiversity: By 2050, biodiversity in Ireland is valued, conserved, restored and sustainably used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.
  2. Partners understand that the platform is focused on helping businesses to assess their impacts on the natural world and they must be committed to completing that assessment and ready to openly share their findings.
  3. Understanding how your business depends on nature is a critical element in the journey to nature positive. Partners must be ready to conduct an assessment of nature dependencies and be ready to share their findings.
  4. For many businesses, much of the impact and dependency on nature and biodiversity resides in the value chain. Partners must be committed to exploring their value chain to fully understand those external impacts and dependencies.
  5. Organisations involved in the trading, retail or distribution of fossil fuels will recognise that their contribution to climate change is their primary impact on biodiversity. For this reason, it is required that organisations involved in the trading, retail or distribution of fossil fuels have a robust transition plan in place in order to join BFBI, and that annual progress of this plan is demonstrated in order to maintain their partnership. We welcome the opportunity to work with and support organisations in this space given their considerable potential for positive impact.
  6. Partners must be ready to evolve the way they operate in order to transition towards Nature Positive. They will develop metrics to monitor and evaluate this evolution and report on impacts, positive and negative, in their annual report. 
  7. Partners should understand that the journey to nature positive is an iterative one and should be properly resourced, through the creation of strategic roles that can influence decision-making within the company.
  8. Partners should commit to setting ambitious goals that are practically achievable through setting and meeting science-based targets. These goals should be within the organisation’s capacity to reach and aligned with prevailing directives.
  9. Partners should be ready to implement on-site actions to support their local biodiversity, where possible. The platform actively encourages Partners to form partnerships or collaborations with local biodiversity experts, such as environmental NGOs, universities and community groups on biodiversity-relevant projects or initiative.
  10. Partners are expected to report their progress on an annual basis in line with prevailing reporting standards.
  11. Partners will be committed to increasing awareness and mainstreaming biodiversity issues throughout each business function and their employee body.
  12. Whilst the platform is facilitating networking, mentoring and peer learning, it is not intended as a marketplace for those aiming to sell corporate biodiversity solutions or consultancy. 
  13. The Platform reserves the right to remove from its Partnership, without refund, organisations who are in violation of these terms and conditions.
  14. Partners must attend the in-person workshops. Up to five employees from each partner organisation can attend, but at least one person from each organisation must be in attendance. We strongly suggest that there is continuity of attendees to ensure smooth progression through the steps of the process and maximum benefit for Partner organisations.

What to expect

These discussion- and action-focused SSCoPs will comprise Irish private and semi-state organisations, experts, researchers and academics working within the same sector who share a common interest in learning more about transitioning to a nature-positive way of working.

Within our sectors we are facing the same challenges and are striving to reach similar goals. We encourage partners within the SSCoPs to share their own experiences and knowledge freely, innovate new solutions and work together to help define best practice in an Irish context, taking positive steps towards systemic change within their sector.

The SSCoP is about empowerment, capacity building and collective thinking. Transitioning to a nature-positive mode of operating will be a gradual process that will be in a near constant state of evolution. Your business needs the skills and capacity internally to maintain the strategies, programmes and procedures that will arise from the iterative process of assessment, target setting, implementation, monitoring and evaluating your actions for nature.

  • Opportunities for networking, mentoring and relationship-building

  • Active participation in the development of sectoral best practice

  • Access to employee engagement resources

  • Help with reporting obligations and mentoring

Express your interest in becoming a BFBI SSCoP Partner