More than 80 NGOs have published what they claim is the world’s first corporate science-based targets for nature.

The guidance for entities wishing to start setting nature-related targets was launched last week by the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN). They will initially focus on the private sector’s contribution to freshwater quality and scarcity, and the protection and restoration of land.

Over the coming years, SBTN will expand the tool to cover other aspects of nature, such as ocean conservation and seafood supply chains.

For now, the guidance will be piloted by 17 big companies – including supermarket chain Tesco and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline – before a full roll-out next year.

The launch is the latest sign of the pressure that is mounting on investors to address sustainability challenges beyond climate change.

This week, the UN resumed negotiations on a global plastics treaty. In a bid to slash the levels of pollution on land and in the oceans, the world’s governments agreed last year to sign off on a legally-binding deal by the end of 2024.

If successful, it is expected to drive a slew of new regulations around the world on waste management, biodiversity and the circular economy.

And last week saw a raft of announcements around the investment industry’s efforts to address nature and ecosystems.

Fidelity International threw its weight behind calls from the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation to “increase the practical applicability” of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures’ (TNFD) draft framework.

The TNFD is expected to standardise reporting expectations for the market, but Fidelity’s sustainability analyst Charlotte Apps, who leads the foundation’s work on TNFD, warned “the framework needs to be further refined and pared back in terms of its complexity” in order to deliver “a pragmatic solution to nature-based risk management and reporting.”

The foundation has 67 members with nearly €20trn under management.

Elsewhere, asset manager Federated Hermes announced plans to launch a blended-finance strategy to invest in UK nature-based offsets and “nature-positive” businesses, in partnership with Finance Earth. The firm has hired former head of asset management at Climate Impact Partners, Andy Turnbull, to advise on the fund.

Last week also saw index provider Qontigo partner with ISS ESG to launch a suite of benchmarks they claim “meet UN biodiversity-oriented SDGs”, by selecting companies with low negative impacts on areas like oceans, forests and agricultural land, and those that provide solutions to nature-related challenges.

ISS’s head of stewardship, Lorraine Kelly, said at the time that “investor focus on managing biodiversity impact has the potential to become as significant and enduring as the current focus on climate change”.

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