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GSK, Kering Among Companies Setting Bar for Nature Strategies

Business for Nature’s ‘It’s Now for Nature’ campaign highlights the strategies of five companies leading the charge and invites others to start their journey to developing and publishing their own biodiversity policies.

Biopharma giant GSK and luxury fashion group Kering are among the first five companies whose nature strategies have been reviewed and accepted as part of Business for Nature’s “It’s Now for Nature” campaign.

Along with GSK and Kering are French utility company ENGIE, Taiwan Cement Corporation and UK sustainable hairdressing chain Anne Veck Limited — the only SME to be part of this first group.

“This is an exciting milestone which we hope will lead to a snowball effect,” says Eva Zabey, CEO at Business for Nature — a coalition of NGOs and private-sector organizations launched in 2019 to elevate a business call for comprehensive action to reverse nature loss and restore the planet’s vital natural systems. “All these companies have clearly articulated how they will address their most material impacts and dependencies on nature. We hope these strategies give confidence to others to start their own journey to develop and publish a nature strategy.”

“The more that companies can share and learn from each other, the quicker other companies can develop their own strategies and avoid having to start from scratch,” she added.

Although momentum on nature conservation and restoration is growing, with global initiatives such as the TNFD and Science-Based Targets for Nature picking up pace across the corporate world, more must be done to make the crucial shift from adoption to implementation of the Biodiversity Plan (also known as the Global Biodiversity Framework) created at COP15 in 2022. By developing a strategy for nature that considers multiple impacts and dependencies across freshwater, land, air, ocean and biodiversity, businesses can reduce their negative impacts and boost business resilience. The plans can also bring new commercial opportunities, create long-term value, and strengthen climate and sustainability goals.

For a nature strategy to be featured as part of the “It’s Now for Nature” campaign, it should include:

  • A materiality assessment to identify material impacts, dependencies, risks and opportunities.

  • SMART targets aligned with material impacts, dependencies, risks and opportunities.

  • Actions to achieve SMART targets and, in particular, to avoid and reduce negative impacts on nature based on material impacts, dependencies, risks and opportunities.

  • C-suite or board approval of the strategy and responsibility for its delivery.

“At Kering, we are proud that our nature strategy is among the first featured as part of ‘It’s Now for Nature’, and we hope this will contribute to the growing momentum of corporate nature action encouraging more companies to develop and publish an ambitious strategy for a nature-positive future,” said Géraldine Vallejo, Sustainability Program Director at Kering — which in 2020 unveiled an industry-leading commitment to achieve a net-positive impact on biodiversity by 2025.

For GSK, Sustainability Partnerships and Strategy Director Adele Cheli said creating a strategy for nature made perfect business sense: “As a healthcare company, we know that nature and health are deeply connected. Our business relies on nature and we use many natural materials to manufacture our products, so there is a very important business-resilience angle for us to consider.”

Business for Nature encourages more businesses to step up their actions to halt and reverse nature loss. Nature strategies submitted to “It’s Now for Nature” are reviewed on an ongoing basis, with more strategies expected to be featured on the website in the run-up to the UN Biodiversity COP16 in late October. Zabey hopes that the publication of the first five will inspire more companies to get on board.

“The planetary crisis requires us to act with urgency, and we don’t have time to hatch the perfect plan,” Zabey explains. “However, many companies will already have enough knowledge to take some ‘no regrets’ actions, and having an imperfect strategy is much better than having none at all.”

Cheli agrees, advising companies not to focus on creating the perfect plan: “Just get going,” she says. “Wherever you are on your data journey, progress is better than perfection — let’s get moving.”