Many of us have heard this term “nature positive” used in the context of business and biodiversity, but what does it actually mean?
“Nature positive” does not have an official definition…yet, but a nature-positive business is generally understood to have certain qualities and values.
Nature positive businesses understand how their business operations impact on the environment, and they also understand how they benefit from nature, or how they depend on it, for example, through an ecosystem service like pollination.
Once a business understands their impacts and dependencies, they can transform how they do things to avoid or reduce pressure on the natural world. The impacts may be hidden within their value chain, but a business has the power to switch suppliers and make that shift towards organisations that are more tuned in to their environmental or social impact.
A nature positive business mobilises resources to enhance ecosystems and enrich biodiversity. They can do this by enhancing the natural habitats that occur within their landholding, by working with communities to enrich local ecosystems or by providing funding to NGOs to enable rewilding projects further afield, perhaps in key geographic areas and ecosystems that have high biodiversity value or critical habitats, like the Amazon Rainforest.
Carbon storage is another priority for a nature-positive business. Cutting carbon emissions, protecting natural carbon sinks, and transforming agriculture to enhance sequestration are fundamental ways that businesses can improve their carbon storage capacity.
Respecting the right to safe water means that businesses must be compliant with liquid waste disposal and discharging into rivers and streams.
Experts claim that we may have entered an era of pandemics driven by the anthropogenic degradation of nature and biodiversity. If we are to escape this quagmire of rapidly spreading global diseases, we need an enormous shift towards prevention. It is estimated that there could be another 850,000 undiscovered viruses that could have the ability to jump to human hosts. The way we currently use our land, trade unsustainably, disrupt natural systems, interfere with wild populations of animals paves the road towards increased pandemic risk. This risk is lowered significantly by intercepting the drivers of biodiversity loss.
The cost of inaction is growing exponentially. The longer we leave it, the more it will cost us, financially and in terms of our heath and wellbeing.
Momentum is building and percolating down to businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. The Nature-Positive movement is here, and it will make us stronger, happier, and more resilient.
Join the evolution of business. How can your business become more nature positive?