Among the fundamental aspects of corporate governance are the environment and social responsibility. In addition to these, a new term has been drawing attention and being put on the agenda by large companies, this is "Positive Nature".  

Nature positive is when nature is restored rather than degraded, so like net zero targets for emissions, setting "nature positive" ambitions will become strategic in the immediate future. It is up to leaders, like you, to be pioneers and develop this concept inside and outside your organization. Positive nature suggests that companies will need to integrate nature into strategy, incorporate more risk management and oversight processes, and develop a comprehensive approach to disclosure and communication of preservation and restoration actions.

Companies have a key role to play in planetary conservation. They must go beyond the bottom line and promote a positive future for the environment and the planet. Action against climate change and deforestation, for example, are key components of good governance. Investment in sustainability is urgent for all businesses. 

  • How can your company act?

To speed up recovery, companies should invest in activities that protect rather than destroy nature. For example:

Avoid and reduce the business impact on nature by applying regenerative practices and improving resource efficiency, such as reducing water, energy and material use. This includes reducing pollution, reducing the use of hazardous chemicals, reducing waste, improving the sustainability of a product's life cycle and setting no-deforestation policies. All these actions can be done directly, in the operational sphere of the business, or indirectly, through sustainable actions in the value chain.

In addition, restoration and regeneration programs can be invested in to develop nature-based solutions. This includes investment in natural infrastructure such as constructed wetlands for water treatment, conservation and enhancement of forest areas for flood prevention, and restoration of mangrove ecosystems for coastal stability. This should be done with proper involvement of local communities and indigenous peoples, using a context-sensitive approach, to protect their rights and optimize positive impacts.

  • How can your board act?

Oversee and take ownership of a structured process to strategically position your company to meet nature-related goals:

  • Reflect on the importance of nature for business;
  • Take stock of existing initiatives and assessments across your value chain;
  • Locate your organization's interface with nature and identify exposure to nature-related risks, impacts and opportunities;
  • Develop a plan for how you will assess and deal with risks and opportunities;
  • Engage with your stakeholders.

For these ideas to be effectively implemented, there needs to be a culture of social responsibility ingrained in the company, as well as commitment from senior management to provide resources and support for these initiatives.