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Why companies should help pay for the biodiversity that’s good for their bottom line

Without an array of ecosystems and species, it’s tough for farmers to grow crops or ranchers to raise animals. Global biodiversity protection requires $100 billion annually, according to a previous study one of us conducted, yet the international community spends up to $10 billion each year on biodiversity conservation.

Source: Why companies should help pay for the biodiversity that’s good for their bottom line | The Conversation

New Tool Reveals $1.6T Risk of Failing to Account for Natural Capital

Following the release last month of its groundbreaking guide to help financial institutions understand and assess their reliance on natural capital, this week the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA) launched the world’s first comprehensive tool linking environmental change with its consequences for the economy.

Source: New Tool Reveals $1.6T Risk of Failing to Account for Natural Capital | Sustainable Brands

Advancing the Circular Economy via Product-Service Systems

Today, the economic models of many countries are built on the premise of ‘take-make-consume-dispose’ patterns of growth. Recent developments in the circular economy could make more sustainable development possible. In a nutshell, PSS involves selling physical products as well as the provision of after-sales services so that businesses are capable of satisfying consumers’ demands.

Source: Advancing the Circular Economy via Product-Service Systems | TriplePundit

Small Farmers in Mexico Keep Corn’s Genetic Diversity Alive

“Campesinos” are driving the evolution of maize in North America

During the rainy season, García Cuenca selects the seeds he stored the previous cycle, plants them and cares for the seedlings. Multiply that process by the millions of other campesinos in Mexico and you get billions of genetically different maize plants—each exposed to a wide diversity of environments and subjected to unique selection practices.

Source: Small Farmers in Mexico Keep Corn’s Genetic Diversity Alive | Scientific American

Greater Scrutiny for Misleading Sustainability, Environmental Claims

As more companies recognize the value of enhanced sustainability reporting and publicize the positive environmental features of their products and services, they should also be attentive to greater public scrutiny of “green” claims. Companies that engage in greenwashing—asserting exaggerated, misstated, or immaterial environmental claims—are increasingly exposed to reputational damage and legal battles, as regulators, investors, and civil society actors dedicate more resources to scrutinizing environmental claims. Companies also face growing pressure from investors to publish standardized and rigorous sustainability information that allows for cross-industry benchmarking.

Source: Greater Scrutiny for Misleading Sustainability, Environmental Claims | The National Law Review

Capitalism 2.0 will put impact at the center of public and private market decisions

If Capitalism 2.0 is to be more humane, conscientious and inclusive than its previous iteration, social impact must shift from a fringe consideration to the center of business, government and investment decisions. Key indicators show that responsible investment returns are on par with market returns in developed markets and are superior in emerging markets. We can embed the impact revolution but first, we must achieve three things:

Source: Capitalism 2.0 will put impact at the center of public and private market decisions – ImpactAlpha

To Market Sustainability, Focus on What Consumers Love, Not What They Hate

Early marketing for products promising sustainability was all about what they “weren’t.” Tofurky wasn’t meat. Soy milk wasn’t dairy. Solar wasn’t coal. Positioning against the negative helped companies attract consumers who were revolting against the polluting impacts of standard manufacturing practices and products. But doing so ignored what potential customers still wanted, whether a product was sustainable or not: delicious taste, high performance, reliable quality and comfort, and overall satisfaction.

Source: To Market Sustainability, Focus on What Consumers Love, Not What They Hate | Sustainable Brands

European Investment Bank, Government Partners Launch Initiative to Clean up Oceans

The Clean Ocean Initiative will focus on projects in coastal and riverine areas in developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The projects will finance the collection, sorting and recycling of waste before it reaches rivers and streams. According to EIB, 90% of plastic waste enters the ocean through ten major river systems in Africa and Asia. These regions face challenges in access to regular waste collection, and have limited waste disposal control.

Source: EIB, Government Partners Launch Initiative to Clean up Oceans | SDG Knowledge Hub, IISD

ESG reporting standard setters urged to agree ‘unified agenda’

puzzle jigsaw

A group of global investor organisations has urged listed companies and ESG reporting standard setters to do more to agree an approach to the treatment and inclusion of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) information in company disclosure and reporting.“It is important to state clearly that the group believes a workable ‘solution’ can be achieved with the existing data providers and standard setters,” it said in a discussion paper published yesterday.

Source: ESG reporting standard setters urged to agree ‘unified agenda’ | IPE

Stakeholders’ Desire for Sustainability Presents Opportunities and Challenges for Boards

As the sustainability movement grows, so too do the ambiguities under which boards of directors govern. Boards are bound by fiduciary duties, including the duty of loyalty, which requires that a board acts in good faith and in the best interest of the corporation. Historically, the “best of the corporation” was interpreted to mean maximizing profits solely for the shareholder. Many regulators, academics, politicians, and investors are now challenging this concept, contending that a corporation is best served when it incorporates “more nuanced and tempered approaches to creating shareholder value” and considers the interests of a broader set of stakeholders, such as employees, customers, and communities.

Source: Stakeholders’ Desire for Sustainability Presents Opportunities and Challenges for Boards | NACD BoardTalk

The Role of CPAs in Sustainability Takes on Greater Significance

In this fiercely competitive economic climate, companies are increasingly aware of the importance of managing and reporting on their financial, social and environmental risks and opportunities – often referred to as the triple bottom line. Furthermore, in order to rely on this information, investors are looking for this reported sustainability information to be independently assured.

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has developed a new toolkit that provides resources to help prepare CPAs to meet these growing sustainability-related demands.

Source: The Role of CPAs in Sustainability Takes on Greater Significance | CPA Practice Advisor

ACCA Outlines 12 Characteristics Essential to Future Business Model Innovation

A new report published this week by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants identifies 12 characteristics behind new business model design that are being combined by organizations around the world in different ways to create new sources of value. The report also points out a set of new skills that will be required for accountants to successfully navigate the contours of a changing economy and support business model innovation across the three spheres of value proposition, value creation and value capture.

Source: ACCA Outlines 12 Characteristics Essential to Future Business Model Innovation | Sustainable Brands