Monday 5 September 2022

The Carbon Column – Nature-based Solutions

The Carbon Column – Nature-based Solutions

Nature-based Solutions

I love nature and wildlife. It was one of the main reasons I studied environmental science. I was inspired by the marine life and beauty of Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve whilst doing a divemaster internship in Australia.

Nature is incredibly important, especially in reducing the impact of global warming and climate change. We need nature for many reasons, too many to be able to discuss in a short article.

The UN have identified 6 major areas to reduce emissions to keep the global average below 1.5oC. Whether this is possible or not is a different question. One of the six sectors is Nature-based Solutions (NbS).

NbS are defined as ‘actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems, which address social, economic and environmental challenges effectively and adaptively, while simultaneously providing human well-being, ecosystem services and resilience and biodiversity benefits.’

When businesses address their carbon, they often focus on reducing emissions through energy, vehicles, processes, and across their supply chain. Often trying to identify suppliers that can be provide the same service, but with a lower environmental impact.

How often do you think businesses ask the question, ‘What is our supply chain’s impact on nature?’.

Every supply chain is in some way contributing to the damage of our ecosystems, but I would be interested to learn more about the steps people are taking to manage this.


So, what can businesses do?

We need businesses to take initiative to improve our ecosystems through NbS.

There is a Science Based Target Initiative for nature, which outlines what businesses can do in 5 steps:

  1. Assess; map the value chain and identify the major dependencies on nature,
  2. Interpret & prioritise; understand the impact and create a list of areas with the value chain that the business can start acting on today,
  3. Measure, set & disclose; use the Science Based Targets Network’s (SBTN) framework to determine the amount of action needed,
  4. Act; use the action framework to identify best practices and start delivering,
  5. Track; monitor progress, adapt the strategy accordingly and promote the work you are doing.

Following these steps is a way in which businesses can improve their supply chain in respect to nature. The guidance document is a great place to start for any business.

There are business groups focused on delivering Nature-based Solutions. SwissBiz4Nature is one group of businesses pledging to deliver 100 NbS by 2030. Although not a UK initiative, it is great to see the commitment.


Does your business have a NbS strategy?

I’d love to hear from you if you do or have any thoughts about this. Please email me or find me on LinkedIn if you want to discuss this or any other net zero topic.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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