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  • Hugh Chapman

Quick Guide to Nature-Based Reporting & How to Get Started


As with climate reporting, the number of overlapping frameworks, initiatives and acronyms for nature reporting can be initially confusing (TNFD, SBTN, ESRS, etc.). To bypass the jargon, the best practice frameworks generally follow the same fundamental structure: identify relevant nature interfaces (dependencies, impacts, risks and opportunities); determine

targets and associated actions; and report (on issues identified and how these are being managed).


To simplify further, since the final recommendations were released in September 2023, the TNFD (Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures) looks to become the most widely accepted framework in the nature-reporting space. Despite its relative recency, a growing list of large organisations have already registered as early adopters, including AstraZeneca, PwC, Bank of America, EDF Group.


The key benefit of the TNFD is its ability to integrate with a wide range of existing frameworks. By design, its structure reflects that of the TCFD for climate reporting (Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures), mandatory in the UK from 2025). The TNFD is also consistent with both GRI and ISSB’s IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, meaning existing data on climate can readily be leveraged for nature-based reporting. For target setting, the Science-Based Targets Network (SBTN) provides the gold standard, which also readily integrates into the TNFD framework. Even the EU mandatory ESRS requirements have a close alignment with the TNFD recommendations.


With the above in mind, it is also essential for an organisation to understand the relative merits of different approaches depending on its own legal environment and goals. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has published in-depth analysis comparing the leading approaches to nature-reporting which provides a useful resource.


Once an approach to nature reporting has been decided, how can you get started?


3 steps to starting your nature journey


  1. Education The first step is to improve your own, and your organisation’s, familiarity with nature issues for business. If using the TNFD (and even if not), there are a host of free resources available which are worth becoming familiar with (full suite of TNFD resources including sector-specific guidance). If this seems overwhelming at first, the higher-level TNFD in a box guide is a great place to start. For a broader view ‘An Introduction to Nature, Business and Finance’ is a useful free micro-course developed with input from TNFD. While an initial investment of time and effort is needed to boost your nature knowledge, this investment is sure to pay off (see why) and motivate action within your organisation.

  2. Start small Starting small with nature reporting is essential. Conducting a pilot study for example, can be beneficial way to gain familiarity with the process applied to a specific geography or business unit. Review examples and shared learning from pilot studies conducted by other companies to get started (e.g. WBCSD’s insights from TNFD pilots with 23 companies).  Sustain:able also recently completed one of the first TNFD pilot studies in the UK North Sea to help a UK based Operator consider their nature-related impacts and opportunities from their upcoming project – see our blog post for more information. As stated above, due to the compatibility of TNFD with existing climate standards, every organisation is likely to have existing usable sources of data - reviewing these is a great place to start.

  3. Look to the future - but don’t let that stop you! Define your end goal to help motivate action. The WBCSD Roadmaps for Nature Positive provides a comprehensive guide for all companies which integrates both TNFD & SBTN to act in line with the global goal of halting and reversing nature loss by 2030 (nature’s equivalent to the Paris Climate agreement on 1.5 degrees Celsius). While this is a great ambition, no organisation should expect to get there in one go. Only by starting small, stepping up their knowledge can organisations increase the maturity of their evaluations and reporting with each iteration.


So don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good enough - begin your nature journey now.



 

Acronyms

ESRS European Sustainability Reporting Standards

GRI Global Reporting Initiative

IFRS International Financial Reporting Standards

ISSB International Sustainability Standards Board

SBTN Science Based Targets Network

TNFD Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures

TCFD Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

UNEP United Nations Environment Programme

WBCSD World Business Council for Sustainable Development


Get in touch to find out how we can help with your nature-based reporting.

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