Becoming a nature-positive business
Placing nature on the path to recovery
The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.Sir David Attenborough
We know that nature is critical to life and has so many positive benefits to society and the economy, which is why we’ve been working to better understand our impacts on nature here in the UK to support our global commitment. We’ve been engaging with our suppliers and other organisations to identify areas where collaboration can have a positive impact on the natural environment, and we’re bringing our colleagues along on that journey too so that they can get involved. All businesses will depend on nature in some way and we’re continuing to support clients with some of the challenges that they’re facing.
While we may not have the largest impact on nature compared to other sectors, from our initial materiality assessment, we know much of our impact is associated with our value chain.
We’re working with our suppliers to reduce our impact. We strive to source ethical raw materials and have set clear sourcing principles for our key products. For example, we’re working closely with our catering supplier to further reduce our impact and we’re reducing the amount of meat we consume by offering colleagues vegan and vegetarian options. We’ve also examined our impact through our operations and are taking action such as introducing chemical free cleaning across our larger offices.
Improving biodiversity will require collective action and in 2023 we brought suppliers and other businesses together to collectively discuss nature and biodiversity, enabling organisations to share best practices and challenges to work together to take action.
We know that biodiversity is a subject of interest to many colleagues, so we have been supporting them to learn more about the topic through our Sustainability Unplugged sessions. In 2023 we took colleagues behind the scenes of BBC’s Wild Isles series and the Business of Nature with two guest speakers to explain the importance of nature and what we can do to support it. This virtual event also covered how we’re helping are clients in this space too.
We’ve also held wildlife photography competitions in collaboration with our internal conservation network, encouraging colleagues to get out into nature.
Since 2014, our Canary Wharf office roof has been home to two honeybee colonies, with a total of 80,000 bees. Colleagues have the opportunity to swap their work-suits for beekeepers-suits to visit our friends on the roof. Led by our Urban Bee Head Beekeeper, our colleagues learn about the positive impact pollinators have on boosting biodiversity, both across our estate and in our own homes. This is also an employee engagement tool that also allows us to widen conversations on environment and nature.
Our Green Team Group Volunteering Days enable groups of colleagues to take positive practical actions, with activities around biodiversity preservation, nature reserve support, invasive species management, wildlife meadow establishment and native species audits. Over 1,200 volunteers took part in Green Team group volunteering days in FY23.
Colleagues in Reading took part in Green Team days at Hosehill Lake near Reading, helping to build part of a footpath and cut back brambles.
The team said: "Overall we constructed about 20m of pathway and made the lake much more accessible, such a great achievement. It is great to have the opportunity to get away from our laptops, connect with new and old colleagues and do something great for our local community."
The Net Zero economy is going to bring about an unprecedented demand for ‘green skills.’ We’re working with schools in areas of low social mobility to build students’ ‘sustainability mindset’ and help prepare and excite them for changing world of work.
Find out more: Essential skills
With the incoming Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and effects of climate change and nature degradation already being felt by businesses, organisations are seeking to better understand how nature-related risks and opportunities could impact their business. While there is no agreed approach to quantified nature scenario analysis under the TNFD as yet, leading organisations are taking a proactive approach to build on their existing climate scenario analysis to include nature.
“Our team recently supported a large global beverage company in assessing the potential financial impact of nature degradation on their business. Our client was interested in understanding the impact of the changing state of nature on their business to better inform their strategic planning and improve resilience to nature degradation.
To do so, we took an innovative approach to nature-related scenario analysis by harnessing our market-leading KPMG Climate IQ scenario analysis tool. We assessed nature degradation and the impact on the client’s business through ecosystem service analysis across client-specific raw material in select locations most significant to the client’s business. Our forward-looking analysis assessed nature-related impact drivers in line with the TNFD, including ecosystem services such as rainfall pattern regulation and soil quality.
We built on the client’s extensive work on nature baselining and supply chain mapping and provided the client with both qualitative and quantitative nature-related risk and exposure. Furthermore, as we highlighted the most significant raw materials for the client across relevant geographies, our analysis identified key geographic hotspots to enable to client to effectively target adaptation and mitigation actions. This supported our client both in aspects relating to the TNFD, as well as providing financial impact data for the client to leverage and inform their commitment on nature as part of the wider business strategy.”
Rachel Orton / Director, Climate Risk and Strategy, KPMG in the UK
There is increasing pressure from regulators and the market for organisations to understand and report on the extent to which they are materially exposed to nature-related risks across their operations and value chain. The launch of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) recommendations combined with the burgeoning nature data and tool providers means companies are now able to assess this exposure and identify which datasets and tools are best suited to support the identification and management of their nature-related risks.
“Our team recently supported a large global bank assess their exposure to nature-related risks in their portfolio. Our client was interested in evaluating the portfolio’s exposure to nature-related risks at the sector and counterparty-level and to identify useful nature datasets and tools they could utilise to assess nature-related risk.
We helped them gain a clear understanding of their exposure using our tried and tested portfolio heatmapping methodology. Our approach drew on multiple datasets to give the client a clear understanding of their exposure to nature-related risks at both a portfolio and sector level.
We also completed a targeted market landscape assessment to identify datasets and tools which the client can utilise to assess nature-related risks in specific use cases (e.g., conducting counterparty due diligence to screen for nature-related risk exposure). This process enabled the client to understand the key gaps in their data and technology resources and understand the next steps needed to develop a nature data and technology strategy.”
Maxim Olliver / Director, Climate Risk and Strategy, KPMG in the UK