- The International Chamber of Commerce, WWF, WBCSD, We Mean Business, United Nations Global Compact, the IUCN, and Business for Nature and 25 other groups sign letter calling on CEOs to work with governments to reverse nature loss now
- Signatories say “nature is the beating heart of a green recovery” and “political leaders must hear from businesses that nature is a critical priority”
- Over half the world’s GDP, $44 trillion of economic value, is highly or moderately exposed to risks from nature loss - signatories say “the natural resources that businesses, economies and societies depend on are under huge strain
15 June 2020: Today, 31 NGOs and business groups including the International Chamber of Commerce, WWF, We Mean Business, United Nations Global Compact, the IUCN and Business for Nature have published a letter calling on CEOs to push governments to include ambitious policies to reverse nature loss as part of green recovery plans.
According to the World Economic Forum, over half the world's GDP, $44 trillion of economic value, is moderately or highly exposed to risks from nature loss. The NGOs and business groups that have signed this letter say that the need to build more resilient economies and societies is now “inescapable” following the Coronavirus crisis and ask CEOs to recognize that “the natural resources and ecosystems that power your business and underpin the economies and communities you are part of are under huge strain.”
The authors of the letter recognize that many businesses have already shared and supported ideas for how to rebuild the economy and society, but urge CEOs to acknowledge that nature is the beating heart of a green recovery and the foundation to build back better. This call comes at a time where the international policy forums on nature and climate have been postponed to next year, but the issues they will focus on remain critically important today.
The letter urges CEOs to support the Business for Nature call to action to scale up their voluntary measures and urge political leaders to implement ambitious, transformative government policy so we can thrive within nature’s limits.
These asks have already received support today from Paul Polman, Co-founder of IMAGINE; Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone; Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever; Thomas Burbel CEO of AXA; and Roberto Marques, CEO of Natura &Co. These CEOs spoke alongside other business leaders at a global leadership event today on reversing nature loss - other leaders included, Guo Guangchang, Chairman Fosun International and Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, CEO of Sintesa Group.
Eva Zabey, Executive Director, Business for Nature, said: “Many companies are already making nature a priority through the way they sustainably use natural resources across their supply chains, create clean jobs, and produce greener products. Now, those leadership efforts need to be scaled up through further voluntary action complemented by ambitious, transformative government policy. This is why we’re calling on businesses to urge governments to take concerted action on nature loss. It’s only with this that we will be able to build back better, creating healthy societies, resilient economies and thriving businesses.”
John W.H. Denton, AO, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce said: 'It’s clear that healthy societies, resilient economies and thriving businesses rely heavily on nature. Making action on climate and nature foundational to a future economic rebuild will require governments to get the basics right. This means rapidly adopting: sound and enforceable legal frameworks; clear targets to reduce emissions and reverse nature degradation; and robust incentives to help companies recover from the pandemic while driving resilience to existential threats.'
Diane Holdorf, Managing Director Food & Nature at WBCSD: “Nature needs to be at the heart of a healthy and green recovery. It is key to tackling climate change and building a resilient future for both people and the planet. Business has a critical role and major incentive in restoring and sustainably managing our ecosystems, and we see that leading companies are already committing and acting to reverse nature loss. But more needs to be done - business needs to take a leading role and incorporate nature action into the core of its business strategy to increase risk-awareness and resilience in business models and supply chains, and ensure that economic prosperity and restoration of nature go hand in hand. A focus on science-based targets and nature-based solutions will lay the groundwork for collective business action across the next decade. The post-COVID-19 recovery is our major opportunity to build back better. We need joint action from governments, business and civil society to ensure that we value nature in all of our choices and decisions”
Ms. Lila Karbassi, Chief of Programmes, United Nations Global Compact said: “We are at a pivotal moment in time. As we look to rebound from the unparalleled threats we are facing — a global health crisis, a socio-economic crisis and a climate crisis — we must focus on building resilient and fair societies. To recover better, we need to ensure that investment decisions help build an equitable and inclusive green economy that values and restores nature and protects people and the planet."
“Both business and governments must put nature at the heart of their post-COVID recovery plans,” said Dr Grethel Aguilar, IUCN Acting Director General. “Global corporations know now that success is impossible without a healthy environment, and they are calling for forward-looking policies that lay the foundations for a more sustainable and resilient world.”
The open letter can be read here: https://www.businessfornature.org/open-letter