Climate risk may be on the corporate agenda in Asia in recent years, but regional boards still do not understand why biodiversity is important to business.
Fewer than half of listed companies in Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore mention biodiversity in their corporate reports, and only a minority of large companies in the region consider nature to be an important business issue. is given priority as Asian Market Biodiversity Report Card By the environmental consultancy Nature Positive.
The study screened reports and websites of 192 companies listed on four stock exchanges to determine how many companies mention biodiversity and where biodiversity is featured in their materiality assessments. , documented the efforts companies are taking to address their impacts on nature.
70% of companies mentioned biodiversity in some way, but only 42% highlighted nature as a key issue. Of the companies that view biodiversity as a key issue, only a handful (4%) view nature as a business priority and have a goal of reversing biodiversity loss.
More than one-fifth (22%) of businesses appear to use biodiversity as a buzzword, suggesting that there is a disconnect between nature and how businesses depend on it for their survival. No association was found, the report said.
Japanese companies lead the region in making biodiversity a business issue, and the common use of the term in company filings skews overall data, the report says. points out the author.
The companies that pay more attention to biodiversity are those that are already facing biodiversity-related crises.
Supakorn Ekachaiphiboon, Vice President, Sustainable Development, Stock Exchange of Thailand
“I think companies struggle to understand their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity. There is a misconception that this only applies to agriculture and food companies,” said the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society. Pei Ya Boon, Regional Conservation Finance Program Manager, said. A person interviewed for research.
Some companies have conservation programs in place, but the report finds no evidence that companies conduct audits of their impacts on biodiversity.
The report’s authors note that the focus on reducing carbon and emissions may have left companies with little room to consider the value of biodiversity in their operations.
Dr Stephanie Ray, managing director of Nature Positive, said it was encouraging to see some companies talking about biodiversity in areas that are losing natural areas faster than anywhere else on the planet. He said he doubted whether they were taking meaningful action to combat their impacts on nature.
Only recently has the corporate world begun to join the dots between biodiversity loss and business survival. Businesses rely on healthy ecosystem services for their production processes to maintain soil, water and air quality and build resilience to climate change.
The Asian listed companies most likely to recognize this connection are those directly dependent on nature, such as: Consumer Goods, Energy and Materials.Companies with less clear links to their industry and nature, such as information technology and healthcare, were least likely to be recognized. Biodiversity as a key issue, the study found.
“Companies paying greater attention to their impacts on biodiversity are generally already facing crises related to biodiversity issues, or are unaware of the links between their operations and biodiversity risks. A company that clearly understands Thai exchanges.
Singapore-listed palm oil company Wilmar is committed to weeding its supply chain and has been noted for its efforts to educate its supply chain on its impact on biodiversity. Also notable was Philippine power company Manila Water, one of the few companies to have conducted a biodiversity audit. .
The report is being presented for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15, also known as the “Nature COP”), which will be held in Montreal in December. address biodiversity loss. The agreement aims to set a framework for the production and consumption of natural resources that can affect how businesses operate in the Asia-Pacific region.
Nature Positive’s report notes that frameworks such as the Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and tools such as science-based nature targets are helping Asian businesses to better assess their relationship with biodiversity. suggests that it helps
“Until a common industry framework is created [such as TNFD and science-based targets for nature] To provide guidance and clarity, I think [biodiversity] Target setting will be limited,” said Sue Mulhall, Global Lead for Biodiversity and Business Partnerships at conservation group BirdLife International.
The authors of the report solicited evaluations from businesses in the region. how they depend on and affect nature and set goals for biodiversity restoration;
a 2021 report The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has found unprecedented declines in nature and record species extinction rates. According to one study, since 1970, the Asia-Pacific region has seen a 45% decline in nature. report By World Wide Fund for Nature.