New Metrics
COP15:
‘Environmental DNA’ Technology Enables World-First Nature Performance-Monitoring Service

NatureMetrics says new platform represents breakthrough in understanding and managing our impact on nature — providing simple, standardized metrics to track and report on site-based nature impacts.

Recognition of the importance of thriving, global biodiversity to our survival has grown in recent years. But, as with substantive action to mitigate climate change, strategies to protect and restore our natural world have been slow and piecemeal.

But momentum is building; and leading corporations and financial institutions are increasingly taking biodiversity into account, seeking ways to align financial flows to global biodiversity goals: Kering, for example, has committed to having a net-positive impact on biodiversity by 2025. In 2021, the Natural Capital Finance Alliance released its ENCORE biodiversity module — which enables banks and investors to analyze the potential impact of their investment activities in agriculture and mining on biodiversity loss; the Science Based Targets Network issued interim guidance showing companies how to protect and restore nature in line with science; and HSBC, WRI and WWF launched their $100 million Climate Solutions Partnership, of which projects that protect and restore biodiversity are a key focus. But standardized metrics for quantifying the value of natural capital and our impacts on it have remained elusive.

So, today, from the COP15 Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, NatureMetrics — a UK-based provider of nature intelligence technology — is launching what it’s calling the world’s most powerful nature performance-monitoring service. Whether just starting out on biodiversity data collection or have a sophisticated strategy for achieving nature positivity, the new platform aims to support any company with the need to improve its nature performance and to make a real difference on the ground through site-based biodiversity monitoring.

NatureMetrics’ environmental DNA’ (eDNA) technology provides continuous nature-impact monitoring at scale to enable standardized performance measurement of natural ecosystems. Fundamental for businesses to report and manage nature risk (which a record number of companies say they are ready and seeking guidance on how to do, according to recent CDP data), these insights will be accessible through a new digital dashboard — making vital information on nature impact easy to understand by multiple stakeholders across any organization.

“The vast complexity of nature has made it almost impossible to set actionable goals and targets. eDNA technology is genuinely transformative in this regard, enabling biodiversity to be routinely monitored at large scales,” states NatureMetrics founder Kat Bruce. “Our new platform brings eDNA data to life, translating complex datasets into clear, simple trends and insights that drive effective actions to improve outcomes for nature.”

The company says eDNA technology captures tiny traces of all species — from bacteria to blue whales — to provide an accurate understanding of the state of nature within site-based assets. Alongside understanding the changing state of a single or group of sites, needed to make resourcing decisions at the executive level, it will also provide insights into the drivers of change at site-management level. Through comparing management regimes, it will drive adaptive management and enable real change on the ground — whether that is minimizing risks and impacts or increasing returns on natural capital investments.

Nature risk is moving up company agendas fast; but many of our members are concerned about the lack of robust data to drive decision-making. It's really encouraging to see new solutions coming to market which will enable nature-related financial risks and opportunities to be better assessed and reported from the site level up and ultimately enable TNFD members to access performance metrics of their assets, suppliers or portfolio companies,” says James d'Ath, Technical Lead of Data and Analytics at the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).

Nature provides critical life-support functions — from the provision of clean air from plants and trees to food crops from healthy soils and pollination. However, unlike net-zero targets aimed at mitigating climate change, nature has not yet been subject to a clear, measurable global goal — partly because the technology and data to support such targets has not existed until now. NatureMetrics hopes to change that and is launching its new monitoring service with a message of hope for leaders at COP15.

Interested companies can learn more at naturemetrics.com/insights.

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