This paper was originally published in Conservation Biology


Abstract: Biodiversity declines threaten the sustainability of global economies and societies. Acknowledging this, businesses are beginning to make commitments to account for and mitigate their influence on biodiversity, and report this in sustainability reports. The top 100 of the 2016 Fortune 500 Global companies’ (the Fortune 100) sustainability reports were assessed to gauge the current state of corporate biodiversity accountability. Many companies acknowledged biodiversity, but corporate biodiversity accountability is in its infancy.

Almost half (49) of the Fortune 100 mentioned biodiversity in reports, and 31 made clear biodiversity commitments, of which only 5 could be considered specific, measureable and time‐bound. A variety of biodiversity‐related activities were disclosed (e.g., managing impacts, restoring biodiversity, and investing in biodiversity), but only 9 companies provided quantitative indicators to verify the magnitude of their activities (e.g., area of habitat restored).

No companies reported quantitative biodiversity outcomes, making it difficult to determine whether business actions were of sufficient magnitude to address impacts, and are achieving positive outcomes for nature. Conservation science can help advance approaches to corporate biodiversity accountability through developing science‐based biodiversity commitments, meaningful indicators, and more targeted activities to address business impacts. With the “biodiversity policy super‐year” of 2020 rapidly approaching, now is the time for conservation scientists to engage with and support businesses to play a critical role in setting the new agenda for a sustainable future for the planet, with biodiversity at its heart…”

Read on and access the full paper at: Conservation Biology.