Opinion

The global eco-wakening: how consumers are driving sustainability

Perhaps the well-known maxim in retail that the customer is, without question, always right, and if not a god, certainly a king or a queen, isn't always true. But when it comes to nature, business should listen to the customer: a key finding in a new global report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by WWF, shows a staggering 71% rise in online searches for sustainable goods globally over the past five years.

Who now still dares fiddle while Rome burns?

The critical role of nature in supporting our health, enterprise and prosperity should not be in doubt. One estimate puts its value to the global economy at $44 trillion – more than half of global GDP. Yet until very recently, business decision-making has ignored this most precious asset. It is a strange state of affairs then that shareholder activists are still allowed to prevail, fiddling while Rome burns. This seems especially egregious in the case of the French food group Danone, where activist investors seeking to prioritize shareholder returns have succeeded in ousting chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber, an advocate for the environment and sustainability.

Nature loss, climate breakdown, global pandemic — who now can save life on Earth?

Delfin Ganapin, WWF Governance Practice Leader, and Lin Li, WWF Global Policy and Advocacy Director, argue that securing the rights and recognising the roles and contributions of Indigenous Peoples and local communities are critical in creating a just, green, resilient future. Around the world, Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have lived sustainably for generations in their ‘territories of life’. Today, their lands are found in 75% of the world’s ecoregions, account for at least 24% of the total carbon stored in the world’s tropical forests, and include about 40% of all lands listed by national governments as managed for conservation. Safeguarding these lands will help tackle nature loss.

Why business should help shape a Paris-style global agreement for nature

In his recent Review on the Economics of Biodiversity, commissioned by the UK Treasury to inform the international response to nature loss, Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta reminds us of a simple truth: we are part of nature, and embedded within it, not separate from it. Our economies, livelihoods and well-being all depend on this most precious asset. And yet our failure to recognise this relationship is costing us dearly and putting our future at risk.

The Science of Survival

Nature is in freefall - because of the way we live. Knowingly or blindly, we too often treat natural resources as inexhaustible and expendable, while in reality, natural systems cannot replace resources as fast as we consume them. Deforestation, habitat destruction, and land conversion for agriculture, driven by the choices we make about how to use natural resources, have led to an average decline in global wildlife populations of 68% since 1970. The consequences for humanity may be fatal. Nature loss accelerates climate breakdown and increases the risk of emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19. For our own survival, we must all change our behaviour in ways that help protect and restore nature and a living planet.

Sustainable food - a business opportunity for real change | Planet-Based Diets | WWF

The global pandemic has created profound desire for change. A recent 28-country poll found that 86% of people want to see a fairer, more sustainable world after COVID-19. And new consumer research suggests that given the right incentives and guidance, many are also willing to make healthy, more sustainable lifestyles choices. This is an opportunity for business, especially for those companies able to offer easy, affordable solutions, and help us make better, healthier choices. With some parts o

Why your company should join the call on governments to protect nature

Today, leading businesses such as Carrefour, H&M, JD.com, Natura, and Walmart have called on governments around the world to protect and restore nature, recognizing it as the foundation of our health and prosperity. And in an open letter the Business for Nature coalition, representing nearly 50 influential business and civil society organisations, is urging others to join them in leading the call for a ‘nature positive’ future.

The IMF and World Bank gathered virtually in the midst of Covid-19. What next? Invest in people and nature for recovery and resilience

Last week saw some important moves by international financial institutions to respond to the Covid-19 crisis. At their Spring Meetings, the World Bank and IMF rightly focused on ensuring the global financial system has sufficient liquidity and getting emergency health support and relief as quickly as possible to the countries who need it most, and the G20 agreed a debt moratorium for low income countries. These are surely welcome first steps in the poorest parts of the world. What next?

Our world is on fire - and business must help put it out

Recently, there have been some promising moves by business on climate change and nature loss. The new Davos Manifesto calls for a better kind of capitalism which engages all stakeholders in ‘shared and sustained value creation’. And just last week, BlackRock struck a decidedly stronger tone on climate change. These are welcome commitments but must lead to action – especially given world leaders discussing climate change in Madrid last month accomplished almost nothing, with big emitters blocking efforts to reduce emissions and doing a grave injustice to the two billion people most vulnerable to climate breakdown. While the catastrophic fires in Australia continue to burn, such political inaction is looking increasingly reckless as investors scrutinize climate risks and voters turn their backs on fossil-fuel friendly politicians.

Opinion: Does business really care about people and nature?

On its 50th anniversary, the World Economic Forum has launched a new Davos Manifesto and its founder and executive chairman, Klaus Schwab, makes the case for a better kind of capitalism that engages all stakeholders in “shared and sustained value creation.” This is a welcome development, but we should treat it with some caution. As Paul Polman, chair of the Saïd Business School, recently asked, “even though we know how to solve poverty and climate change, do we care enough to do so?”

5 lessons on how to save our relationship with nature in 2020

When as a young man in 1948, my father, Luc Hoffmann, came down from the Swiss mountains, settled in the marshes of the Camargue and bought the Tour du Valat estate, imagining a centre dedicated to studying wetlands, he understood two things – the scale of the threat facing the Camargue from drainage and development, and that saving it meant not just protecting wildlife but also demonstrating nature’s benefit to people. Although the environmental threats we face today are infinitely more complex and global in scale, these two insights – seemingly so obvious now but novel at the time – have only become more salient and more pressing as time has passed.

Full Speed Ahead: 2020 is a pivotal year for the ocean

From five or ten years out, making sustainability commitments for the end of a decade is a seductive proposition for governments and sectors of all varieties. This is certainly true in the maritime world. Yet on the threshold of the new decade, it’s clear we’re on a collision course with reality. As 2019 closes, we’re fast approaching key deadlines for ocean governance and conservation, and the general consensus is that we’re going to miss the majority of the targets we’ve set.

Icons and insights — five lessons in saving life on Earth from a quarter century of conservation —…

Lynda Mansson, Director General of the MAVA Foundation, introduces a new series of stories offering insight and inspiration for contemporary conservation from five iconic natural sites supported by the Foundation and its distinguished founder, Luc Hoffmann. It’s been said that sharing knowledge is a way of achieving immortality. For the MAVA Foundation, soon to end its grant-making after funding frontline conservation in some of the world’s most unique natural environments for more than a quar

No Plastic in Nature – A Revolution Within Our Grasp

Plastic is brilliant – and everywhere. Our modern life depends on it. And its low-cost and material advantages make it indispensable in everything from household goods, medical equipment and bank notes, to packaging, motor vehicles, buildings and fishing nets. Yet as useful as it is, our ever-increasing reliance on single-use plastics, a global throwaway culture and poor waste management, have created a ubiquitous problem. Plastic pollution is choking our planet – imperilling marine life, contaminating the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, and suffocating our rivers and oceans.

Uniting and amping up the business voice for nature

Here’s why leading international organizations are launching Business for Nature – a new global coalition uniting the business voice for nature – at this week’s WEF New Champions meeting in China and the Trondheim Biodiversity Conference in Norway. While nature’s true value is priceless, the business case for investing in its protection and restoration is clear. It provides services to the global economy worth an estimated $125 trillion per year .

Spending on nature would be the investment of a lifetime | Public Finance

The most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to deliver resilience and prosperity is to radically increase investment in nature-based solutions. This would help achieve emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement, and deliver Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, life below water, and life on land. In meeting such enormous challenges, nature is our strongest ally.

For better or worse, technology is taming the high seas

Mind the gap - How much do we really know about the global ocean? According to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), not much. Its recent report, ‘The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want’, found only 0.04% to 4% of total research spend worldwide goes to ocean science, and revealed major disparities in national capacity to conduct research, with Small Island Developing States especially limited.
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