Nature and, specifically, nature-related risks are now very much at the top of the agenda for businesses. Not only do businesses, large and small, and from across all sectors, impact biodiversity but they are invariably dependent on products and services provided by nature. And through our value chains, we are interdependent on how each cog in our economy understands and manages its relationship with nature. My suppliers may become your problem … their biodiversity footprint will affect my footprint… my nature performance will affect the risk management of those up and down my value chain…
As the Global Biodiversity Framework, TNFD and the SBTN are calling for, now is the time to get to grips with our relationship with biodiversity and improve nature performance across value-chains. By doing so, we can secure more sustainable business opportunities, manage our nature-related risks, build trust and deliver societal goals for a nature-positive future.
As companies and financial institutions get to grips with biodiversity and begin their nature-positive journeys, recurring questions pop up: “how do we assess and manage nature-related risk in our value chains?”; “how do we know what is really going on across our portfolio”. While this requires knowledge of operational locations (something often difficult to pinpoint, let alone access), it also requires understanding how nature is actually being managed by those companies, which is a challenge for companies to assess. So we add the questions “are our investees/companies/projects managing nature-related risk adequately?” and “where are they on their biodiversity journey?”.
Our solution to this is our new NATURE Score, powered by a Nature Maturity Assessment that has been designed by NatureMetrics’ Nature Strategy team, led by myself, building on my 20 years in corporate biodiversity strategy and the work I have performed on various technical advisory groups, defining the architecture of ‘Nature Positive’. The Assessment is aligned with principles and requirements for meeting GBF goals, TNFD reporting, SBTN target setting, and driving system transformation.
The NATURE Score
The NATURE Score identifies nature performance in relation to Ambition, Governance, Operations, Data, Decision-Making, and Culture. It is perfectly designed to help with nature-related due diligence, complementing spatial risk screening (such as IBAT and STAR, WWF Risk Filters) and double materiality tools (such as ENCORE). Providing the much-needed missing “Management Response” insight to the State-Pressure-Response framing of nature risk screening and management.
There are a number of applications for our Nature Maturity Assessment and the Nature Score:
- Firstly, as a financial institution we encourage you to engage with investee companies across your portfolio using the Maturity Assessment to undertake a gap analysis and benchmark their nature performance – identifying gaps, risk and opportunities for improving their nature-related credentials. The NATURE Score gives a clear and focused assessment of nature management.
- Secondly, as a company you can engage with your entire value-chain with our Maturity Assessment. Again, this will help you identify (and collaborate with suppliers to help them identify) nature-related risks, where there may be short-falls or particular strengths as part of, for example, a due diligence or procurement process.
- Thirdly, we can work with you to implement this Maturity Assessment across projects in your direct operations, or to cover business units across your company – tweaking it to include your own corporate biodiversity commitments and nature positive strategy. You can use it to track compliance across your own projects or subsidiaries with your company’s standards and policies.
Aggregating this information can identify specific areas and topics of risk. This will stimulate opportunities and focal areas on which to engage with companies. The Maturity Assessment highlights areas of strength, whilst providing insight into the gaps in nature-risk management. NatureMetrics can then provide step-by-step guidance for you to engage with specific entities, or parts of your business or portfolio, to reduce your own nature-related risks, but also to assess risk in supply chains, or investment portfolios for financial institutions.
Value-chains are often complex, but understanding nature-related risk in them, now doesn’t have to be.
Get in touch with our Nature Strategy team to learn more about the application of the Nature Maturity Assessment for your business and begin managing your nature-related risks.
Pippa Howard, Chief Nature Strategist: Pippa.email@example.com
Dr Owen Middleton, Principle Nature Strategist: firstname.lastname@example.org