Week of 10 January 2022
Companies that are likely to have an impact on nature and biodiversity will be assessed¬ – including with regard to how they impact communities
Our key takeaway: Shining a light on the inextricable link between people and planet, the WBA’s forthcoming Nature and Biodiversity corporate benchmark will look at environmental, social and governance aspects of nature and biodiversity impacts.
The World Benchmarking Alliance launched a new draft methodology for its Nature and Biodiversity corporate benchmark (open for public consultation through March 2, 2022):
- Who will be benchmarked?: The benchmark will measure 1,000 companies across 22 industries across two initial research cycles, in 2022 and 2023. It will prioritise those companies and sectors that are likely to have the greatest impact (whether positive or negative) on nature and biodiversity across all stages of the value chain. The industries include: agricultural products, apparel and footwear, automobiles and components, capital goods, chemicals, conglomerates, construction and engineering, construction materials and suppliers, containers and packaging, electronics, food and beverage, IT software and services, logistics, metals and mining, oil and gas, paper and forests products, passenger transport, personal and household products, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, retail, utilities, and tire and rubber.
- What will companies be assessed on?: WBA has devised 20 different indicators under three core areas: (A) Governance and Strategy (15%) will assess companies on their sustainability strategy, how accountability for that strategy is embedded (especially among senior leadership), the robustness of stakeholder engagement on sustainable development, lobbying and advocacy efforts, and efforts towards a circular transition. (B) Biodiversity and Environmental Management (60%) will assess companies on whether they conduct a biodiversity impact assessment, a company’s assessment of the biodiversity dependencies within its operations and the most material elements of its value chain, biodiversity commitments and targets aligning with a goal of full nature recovery by 2050, disclosure of site locations where the company has risks or impacts on biodiversity and key ecosystems, disclosure of the species that it may impact through its operations and the relevant management plans to protect these species, how companies manage the risks posed by invasive species linked to their operations, Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions (in line with a 5-degree trajectory), other (non-GHG) emissions, efforts towards achieving land conversion-free supply chains, ecosystem restoration activities, soil health practices, water withdrawal, water quality, management of hazardous substances and waste, and reduction of plastic use and waste. (C) Social Inclusion and Community Impact (25%) will assess companies on their efforts to respect the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, respect for land rights and particularly for the most vulnerable land owners and users, respect for the right to clean water and sanitation, and the rights of indigenous peoples.
- What else will be considered?: In keeping with its social transformation framework, WBA integrates a common set of core indicators into every one of its systems transformation methodologies, to assess whether whether companies are demonstrating a sufficient commitment to responsible conduct. This includes respect for human rights, providing and promoting decent work, and acting ethically.