The Church of England has become the first investor to join a new programme to develop a framework that will help businesses tackle nature-related risk and halt the devastating loss of nature of recent decades.
The Church Commissioners for England, which manage assets worth £8.7bn on behalf of the Church, including large land holdings in the UK, have joined the Science Based Targets Network.
The Network is developing a framework of nature-based targets that aims to transform economic systems and protect the global commons – our air, water, land, biodiversity and ocean.
When finalized in 2022, the science-based targets for nature will provide organisations with a clear pathway to changing their impacts and dependencies on nature right across their value chains, thus enabling them to play their part in protecting and restoring our land, oceans, water and biodiversity.
Alarming loss of nature
The Science Based Targets Network was established in 2019 to identify ways for companies and cities to play a critical role in halting the alarming loss of nature in recent decades.
The Church Commissioners for England are in the process of assessing their own impacts and dependencies on nature and will be looking for companies in their portfolio to do the same to fully understand the risks that nature loss poses.
Regulatory, public and investor pressure
Harry Ashman, Engagement Analyst of the Church Commissioners for England, said: 'Having committed to managing a net zero emissions portfolio by 2050, we must also tackle nature loss in a meaningful way.
'As exploitation of the natural world continues, and the scale of dependencies and damage become clear, regulatory, public and investor pressure will only increase. We urge companies to start understanding their reliance on nature now, in preparation for setting science-based targets for nature.'
Erin Billman, Executive Director of the Science Based Targets Network, said: “We warmly welcome the Church Commissioners for England to our Program. By joining, they are sending a strong signal to business and the investment community that nature-related risk must now become as much of a focus as climate.”
More information: Sciencebasedtargetsnetwork.org
The Church Commissioners for England are the third largest charitable endowment in the UK.