Nature takes Centre Stage at Davos 2024

Frog on leaf

The World Economic Forum‘s annual meeting at Davos is renowned for addressing pressing global issues. This year, biodiversity and nature conservation were in the spotlight, reflecting a heightened awareness of the importance of nature to help us tackle societal challenges.


Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD):

The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) unveiled the names of 320 organisations that became early adopters of the TNFD, which helps businesses and financial institutions identify nature-related risks. 

Launched officially in September 2023, the TNFD aims to provide organisations with tools to address evolving nature-related issues. It builds on the structure developed by the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Co-chair of TNFD, David Craig, emphasised at Davos that there is a clear indication that investors, lenders, insurers, and companies are recognising the critical dependence of their business models and portfolios on both nature and climate. The goal is to shift global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes towards nature-positive ones.

We were encouraged to see TNFD pushing for greater Indigenous Peoples participation: this is a significant development, as it recognises the crucial role that Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) play in protecting and managing nature. IPLCs have traditionally been stewards of the land, and their knowledge and practices are essential for conserving ecosystems. The TNFD’s call for Indigenous participation is a welcome step towards ensuring that IPLCs benefit from the biodiversity market while also protecting their rights and interests.


Science-Based Targets Network (SBTN) Pilot:

Davos’s second major nature-related announcement involved an interim report on the pilot program by 17 companies working on Science-based Targets for Nature (SBTN) targets. Nestle, AB InBev, and GSK are among notable participants trialling the tools. SBTN aims to allow companies to use existing climate frameworks as building blocks for addressing their impacts on nature.

Erin Billman, executive director of SBTN, stressed the interconnection between addressing climate and nature, highlighting that nature-based solutions offer a tangible way for people to understand the connection between impacts and dependencies on nature.


The Role of Collaboration:

Collaboration around nature was cited as a key theme of Davos, emphasising the importance of companies involving stakeholders across their entire value chain to address their impacts on nature effectively. NbI’s work on TNFD pilots with Reckitt, Tesco, and AECOM, in collaboration with Global Canopy, stress the importance of involving local communities at all stages of the process: ground-truthing baselines, selecting nature-based solutions, planning, implementing, and monitoring progress.  

Collaboration is also encouraged within companies and across industries, with the SBTN designed to allow companies to contribute to a collective goal. The trial has already seen companies raising their ambitions and refining actions based on scientific targets.

While the initiatives announced at Davos represent significant strides towards integrating nature into business decision-making, there is a strong call for a more holistic approach to addressing biodiversity loss. Measuring biodiversity (a property of nature) remains a challenge. Companies must develop accurate monitoring and evaluation strategies to assess their impacts at the landscape scale, set evidence-based goals, and monitor their progress towards those goals to prevent greenwashing. 


Nature-based Insights helps companies implement nature-based solutions with integrity by providing robust analytical tools to assess nature-related impacts, risks and opportunities; to deliver measurable benefits for nature, climate, and people. 

As technical partners of Global Canopy and TNFD, we help companies implement TNFD. We also provide technical support for companies looking to align with the most robust nature reporting frameworks (including Natural Capital Protocol, SBTN, GRI, International Sustainability Standards Board, to name a few), as well as to emerging regulatory frameworks for nature (-EU Deforestation Regulation, EU Taxonomy).