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European Business and Nature Summit (EBNS) focus: businesses and financial institutions’ impact and dependencies on nature


10 Dec 2020


Climate & Environment

40 leading businesses, financial institutions and policy-makers discussed how to achieve a green recovery and reshape business for nature and people at the EBNS, jointly hosted by the EU Business@Biodiversity Platform, in close cooperation with ACCA, the Belgian federal and Flemish government, and The Shift

Attended by over 730 participants, the EBNS served as a launchpad to strengthen the growing movement of businesses that consider nature as part of the solution to economic wellbeing.

Against the background of the EU Recovery Plan and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, 40 leading businesses -including SMEs- financial institutions and policy-makers such as Virginijus Sinkevičius,  European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and FisheriesMairead McGuinnessEuropean Commissioner for Financial Stability; Alan JohnsonPresident of IFAC;  Lara Wolters, MEP; and Emmanuel Faber -Chairman of the Board & CEO of Danone - just to name a few - shared their views and practical experience on how to integrate biodiversity and natural capital within their business models; how to measure and reduce their impacts and dependencies on nature; and how to make nature part of the solution to solve current challenges.

They also demonstrated how the right strategies can positively impact both nature and economic performance of businesses. The debate also confirmed that to succeed, we need everyone on board.

Alan JohnsonPresident of IFAC said: ‘Looking to the future, issues like climate change or biodiversity loss simply cannot be solved by a single nation or group going it alone. We are all in this together.  And if we want to move forward, we must move forward together. As the saying goes “if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, you go together”. It is important that we go far.’

The session called Policy responses to support sustainable accounting, reporting and governance, moderated by Sharon Machado, ACCA’s Head of Business reporting, welcomed Lara Wolters, MEP; Thomas Dodd, Team Leader, Non-Financial Reporting, DG FISMA, European Commission; Zsofia Kerecsen, Team Leader Corporate Governance Team, DG JUST, European Commission; Emmanuelle Maire, Head of Unit ‘Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption’, DG Environment, European Commission.

The speakers shared insights on ongoing and forthcoming EU initiatives to ensure that environmental and social interests are fully embedded into business strategies. The policy makers discussed the enabling role of sustainable corporate governance, due diligence and director’s duties, of sustainability disclosure (NFRD review, NFI standards) and of measuring environmental footprints (green claims), to transform business decision making, and to inform choices of consumers and market players. They also explored how corporates and financials may need to complement their management information systems to integrate material impacts and dependencies on nature.

Lara Wolters, MEP said: ‘It is key to have environmental risks on the table. This is what younger generations expects from us – it is important to have a broad list of risks, including biodiversity. Due diligence and NFRD are only pieces of a puzzle which includes many other initiatives; we are all trying to put it together without losing track of a big picture. Reporting is important but behavioural change, through mandatory due diligence rules, is key. Going from voluntary standards to mandatory standards is a real milestone in the EU.’

Sharon Machado, ACCA’s Head of Business reporting, concluded: ‘With over half of global GDP generated by business being dependent on nature, business transformation is central to achieving the required care for nature and society’s prosperity. Businesses and professional accountants are central to designing and delivering the required transformation, using the support and guidance of investors and policy makers to achieve better natural capital management. Responding to this call, ACCA published the first part of a series of practical guides on natural Capital Management, to help professional accountants to change business for the benefit of the planet, by providing simple and practical explanations about the process.

For media enquiries, contact:

Cecile Bonino, ACCA Head of EU Affairs

Mob: +32 (0) 493 29 17 66


Notes to the editors

All sessions can be watched again, in registering to the event

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