NYCW discussion on biodiversity for corporate sustainability

Biodiversity is crucial for business, as explained by Amy Brachio, EY, in response to New York Climate Week and discussions of global sustainability

At this time of year we’re talking about a lot of major climate events taking place in the second half of the year. Global leaders are currently on a journey to support the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations (UN) and one of the ways in which they showcase their efforts is by communicating with each other, and the public. 

Before COP28 arrives, it’s important to look at another major event, New York Climate Week (NYCW), which was held from the 17th to 24th of September and was backed by some of the leading companies in consulting, technology, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, automotive, energy, and beyond. 

The event gains the support from a large number of corporate sponsors and partners looking to adapt the way they work and, more importantly, deliver sustainability strategies for adoption further down the corporate ladder. 

While many organisations are talking about sustainability as an environmental initiative—which is now seemingly embedded into a number of commercial tasks as a necessity—there’s also the crucial factor of nature and the impact of biodiversity. A conversation led by BNP Paribas and New York Restoration Project spoke of biodiversity and the ‘crisis’ that is happening at the moment. The planet is said to be on a biodiversity spiral of which the human race is also under threat—among many other species. 

The conversations around nature are largely around mitigating or rebuilding diverse ecosystems, but the real strategy to implement is one that allows for long-term prosperity. 

Amy Brachio, Global Vice Chair, Sustainability at EY, told the Economist: “Climate is often perceived as the primary focus for action, when actually climate is dependent on nature. 

“With more than 50% of GDP moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services, its profile at Climate Week was an opportunity to recalibrate the focus on mitigation alone and included the launch of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework.”

Regeneration is key to sustainable business and a healthy planet

In the eyes of Brachio, COP28 reinforces a number of evolutions both in terms of sustainable development and the financial incentives to do so. Financial institutions have the innate ability to influence what goes on within corporate walls, by encouraging climate action and biodiversity projects through their investment criteria. 

Biodiversity being a key factor of a prosperous planet, we still cannot avoid the fact that current investments only just provide enough funding to the energy sector as it teeters on the edge of the 1.5-degree target. 

The use of fossil fuels is still damaging the world’s chances at preventing the effects of climate change, let alone reversing the impacts that industries of centuries past. The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that a 60% reduction in emissions from oil and gas is required, the price tag of such work being US$600bn. 

Why is New York Climate Week so important? 

The largest annual climate event of the year, Climate Week in New York is one of the most prestigious gatherings of executives and organisational leaders with more than 500 events and activities taking place across the entire city. Every year the event takes place to address the most crucial issues facing the planet, which in turn impacts society, business, and national health. 

Hosted by Climate Group, the event has grown year-on-year. As an international non-profit organisation (NGO) Climate Group is driven to build a community around climate change and all of the areas affected. 

Organisations can support the most crucial city-wide event of the year by registering to host their own mini events—mini in the grand scheme of things—and showcase their work and initiatives that will save the planet. 

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Other magazines that may be of interest - EV Magazine | Energy Digital

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Sign up to the The Global Sustainability & ESG Awards 2024, coming to London on the 11th September 2024. 

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