Tag Archive for: ESG

Our Roadmap to Nature Positive will help you set the right foundations for reporting your nature-related impacts and dependencies under new regulations – it’s also useful if you are considering reporting these voluntarily.

Regardless of current legal obligations, there is a responsibility for all organisations, no matter their size, to understand their impacts and dependencies on nature and take measures to halt and reverse these. Business as usual is not an option, given the decline in global biodiversity and the interlinked climate crisis, the effects of which are already being felt on human health and society, as well as economically. 

First off, you need to know your obligations on nature disclosures. Within the Roadmap – available to BFBI members when you sign up and log in to the Members Area of our site – we look at reporting for different business types and scales. We also outline the relationship between EU Taxonomy and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

Goal 3 provides information on your legal obligations, in particular if your business falls under the scope of CSRD; and if/when your business needs to start reporting. There is a different timeline for companies of various scales, starting in 2024 for certain companies. For businesses that do not currently fall under the scope of CSRD, we outline how it may relate to your business down the line.

Considering the value chain

Many businesses that are not within the scope of CSRD are still part of the value chain (aka Scope 3) of larger organisations. These larger organisations may well request Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) information from their value chain members – and organisations who are not ready for this may find that they lose out when it comes to larger organisations making supplier choices.

Once you know your obligations under the new regulations, the next step will be to explore the reporting standards to find the best fit for your business. Members can check out our Guidance A3.2 on Standardising Reports. Standardised reporting helps organisations increase transparency and communicate their sustainability initiatives.

We’ll give you an overview of the reporting standards that are internationally recognised and aligned with each other with explainers on how all the emerging different policies, frameworks and standards are linked.

Already feeling the overwhelm? Take a breath and have a look at our easy-to-read member guidance documents to give yourself a basic understanding. You’re not expected to be an expert right away and the Platform is here to help. If you have questions, all members are invited to our quarterly Member’s Forum, and you can upload your questions or comments to the online dashboard so that we can discuss them at our meet-ups.

Register here: https://businessforbiodiversity.ie/register-all/

The Business Post’s 2023 ESG Summit takes place in Dublin’s Croke Park on May 30 and BFBI platform lead Lucy Gaffney is among the speakers.

View the full agenda here.

The event aims to explore the many challenges related to climate and sustainability. Many companies are struggling to navigate ESG reporting within their existing business processes and operating models.

The summit will explore how companies can develop effective data management systems and meet the demanding regulatory and standards requirements. The event will focus on best practices to meet the regulatory, data management and reporting challenges coming down the line for business.

Lucy will speak on biodiversity and natural capital and how companies are investing in nature and working to secure a sustainable future.

You can view the full speaker line-up and register on this site.

In the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) E4 standard specifically addresses corporate sustainability relating to biodiversity and ecosystems.

The aim of ESRS E4 is to help businesses understand how they affect nature, positively and negatively, actually and potentially and how to interpret the results of corporate biodiversity action. Lucy Gaffney explains more…

Key questions for your business

  • How does the business contribute to achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)?
  • Can the business evolve its operations so that it no longer contributes to ecological damage?
  • Does the business understand the operational risks posed by deteriorating ecosystems and the potential opportunities that could be associated with the protection and conservation of nature?
  • How is the business managing those risks?

ESRS E4 specifies the information that must be disclosed about biodiversity and ecosystems across all sectors. Specific sectoral disclosure will be defined by ESRS SEC 1 Sector Classification and the CSRD requirements are expected to be in place for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2024 by large publicly traded entities that have more than 500 employees at the same time (i.e. entities already subject to the Non-Financial Reporting Directive) and by 2025 for other large companies. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will also be subject to a reporting obligation starting in 2027.

Disclosure Requirements

  1. ESRS E4 requires that a business disclose its strategic plan to ensure that their business model will become compatible with the transition to achieve no net loss of biodiversity by 2030, net gain from 2030 and full recovery by 2050. This disclosure will need to include plans to address nature loss within the value chain as well as confirmation that the strategy has been approved by the relevant management boards. 
  2. Each business will be required to disclose all policies relating to biodiversity and ecosystems. This is to ensure that businesses actually have policies to protect nature and how these policies are monitored and managed.
  3. Businesses will have to disclose plans and methodology that will support their biodiversity policies.
  4. A disclosure on the social consequences of nature loss will also be required. This includes, for example, information related to fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from the utilisation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge.
  5. Disclosures will have to include information on how business policies are connected and aligned with global goals and agreements, such as the SDGs, the GBF and the European Green Deal.
  6. Targets will form part of the disclosure mandate. Businesses will be required to disclose the biodiversity and ecosystem-related targets that it has adopted, including timelines, milestones, respect to ecological thresholds and planetary boundaries. In addition, these targets must be supported by the business management board and in alignment with and informed by guidelines set out by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
  7. Businesses must be transparent and disclose all biodiversity actions, action plans and allocation of resources that will enable the organisation to meet its policy objectives. 
  8. The standard requires the disclosure of pressure metrics. Does the business understand how its activities put additional pressure on the drivers of biodiversity loss? These include, but are not limited to pollution, invasive species, land use, climate change and exploitation of natural resources.
  9. Businesses must also disclose impact metrics related to geography or raw materials. This may include impacts on species and their extinction risk or impacts on ecosystems, reporting on extent, condition and function.
  10. Businesses will be required to disclose response metrics to understand how the business has tried to minimise, rehabilitate or restore nature in areas where it has had a significant negative impact.
  11. There is an optional disclosure on biodiversity-friendly consumption and production metrics which will provide insights into its consumption and production which may be considered biodiversity-friendly.
  12. The Taxonomy Regulation requires businesses to disclose information on the proportion of turnover, capital expenditure and operating expenditure that qualify as environmentally sustainable.
  13. Another voluntary disclosure is around biodiversity offsets, where the business may disclose actions, development and financing of biodiversity projects. 
  14. A disclosure on potential financial effects of nature-related risks and opportunities will be required.

This is an evolving space and many businesses will need to implement this as a first step. If a business cannot make these disclosures because strategies have not been developed or adopted, they will need to provide timeframes around when an appropriate strategy will be developed and adopted.

One of the chief aims of BFBI is to guide our businesses through upcoming policy changes around nature-related disclosures.

This article was also published in investESG Insight.