The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / news / Impacts by human activity threaten 1m species with extinction

Impacts by human activity threaten 1m species with extinction

According to a new report by the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), compiled by 145 expert authors from 50 countries during the past three years, nature is declining, globally, at rates unprecedented in human history and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, too.

The issue

The Report found that, as a result of human activity, one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction  Tweet This!, many within decades, more than ever before in human history. Key findings – among many – include the following:

  • Since 1980, greenhouse gas emissions have doubled globally, raising average global temperatures by at least 0.7 degrees Celsius.
  • Three-quarters of the land-based environment and around 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human activities.
  • Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, while global per capita consumption of materials increased by 15%.
  • One in four species are threatened with extinction across terrestrial, freshwater and marine vertebrate, invertebrate and plant groups studied.
  • Since 1970, there has been a 300% increase in food crop production.
  • 33% of fish stocks were harvested at unsustainable levels in 2015.
  • Since 1900, there has been a 16-21 cm rise in global average sea level.

Action: What companies and organisations can do – being aware of impacts is the first step

The Report stresses that “transformative changes” are needed to restore and protect nature, “such as innovative policies by many countries, local authorities and businesses”. Accordingly, companies and organisations can take action and accelerate positive change to protect biodiversity, with the use of the GRI Standards. The GRI Standards are, today, the chosen framework for CSR/ ESG/ SDG/ Sustainability reporting: 80% of the world’s 250 largest companies, report according to the GRI Standards.

Does your company/organisation have a biodiversity strategy?

More specifically, companies can use GRI 304: Biodiversity, and report, responsibly and openly, on potential impacts of operations, products and services on biodiversity, habitats protected or restored, and a range of related disclosures. To describe in their reports their strategy for achieving its policy on biodiversity management. A biodiversity strategy can contain a combination of elements related to the prevention, management, and remediation of damage to natural habitats resulting from the organization’s activities. An example of this is the integration of biodiversity considerations into analytical tools, such as environmental site impact assessments.

Most importantly, by using GRI 304: Biodiversity to provide information on the environmental footprint of their activities regarding biodiversity, organisations and companies will also be addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Action: What we can do individually

What does this all mean for the person in the street?

You can take action as an individual: contact organisations and companies through the social media, by email, or by any other means available, and ask what real action they are taking to tackle biodiversity loss and if they have a biodiversity strategy. You can, additionally, ask corporations if they use the GRI Standards to report on their negative and positive impacts and what SDGs they address, through their actions.

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified and IEMA approved Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI-Standards Certified and IEMA approved Course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

 

References:

This article is based on published information by the UN. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the publication’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the following links:

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/nature-decline-unprecedented-report/

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48169783

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