The Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) announced the launch of Science-Based Targets for Nature Initial Guidance for Business, a resource aimed to enable companies to assess, prioritize, measure, address and track their impacts and dependencies on nature in line with science.

The SBTN, part of the Global Commons Alliance, is a collaboration of more than 45 organizations, established to help businesses and cities operate within the Earth’s limits while meeting society’s needs through the setting of science-based targets (SBTs), in order to transform their impact. It builds on the momentum of the emissions-focused Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to enable companies to set targets beyond climate.

Erin Billman, Executive Director, Science Based Targets Nature, said:

“Harnessing the power of the private sector to innovate, develop and scale solutions is an essential part of securing a safe and just future for humanity. Companies need this guidance to understand how much is ‘at least enough’ action to ensure they play their part. We urge companies to start following the guidance and to work with us to develop and improve it even further. Alongside the benefits to nature, companies acting for nature can experience benefits like more secure supply chains, increased innovation and strengthened customer, employee and investor confidence.”

While many companies have launched initiatives aiming to improve their impact on nature, the establishment of science-based targets would enable these efforts to be more focused, effective and measurable. The SBTN stated that the targets provided in the guidance give companies direction they can align with now, across land use, freshwater use, climate impact, and ecosystem integrity.

The guidance was produced in consultation with experts from 65+ global environmental organizations, companies, and consultancies from 22 countries. According to the SBTN, it is an interim publication with the goal being to engage with businesses to develop and refine it for maximum useability.

Johan Rockstrӧm, Global Commons Alliance Leadership Council member and Earth Commission co-chair said: 

“We urgently need to restore to health our life support systems – the Earth’s biodiversity, land, ocean and water. Without this we cannot halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Business has a key role to play. This guidance will ensure they are acting in line with science and ensure that any nature-based solutions they are considering alongside their emissions reduction efforts are implemented in a way that maximizes the benefits for nature, communities and climate.”

Dr Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute said:

“The best companies in the world are no longer satisfied with “doing better”. They insist on “doing enough”. That’s what science-based targets provide them. Nearly 1000 top companies are committed to science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions. Now they will be able to address issues of water, land, the ocean and biodiversity with the same rigor and accountability. WRI is delighted to be a founding partner of this effort to accelerate action and drive systemic change with benefits for people and nature.”