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New landmark rules launched for companies to measure and share effect on nature

Major new guidelines for companies to measure and share their effect on biodiversity have been launched, marking a milestone in international efforts to tackle global nature loss.

The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), which was founded in 2021 to encourage organisations to calculate the effect they are having on biodiversity and ecosystems, unveiled its finalised framework on Monday.

The guidelines outline 14 recommendations for companies to measure and share biodiversity effects, which include information on the organisation’s governance of nature-related issues as well as processes, risk management, metrics and targets.

The aim is to enable better decision making by companies and investors as well as contribute to a global shift in financial flows towards nature-positive outcomes, the TNFD said.

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British pharmaceutical giant GSK was first to announce its commitment to publishing TNFD disclosures at the launch event in New York, saying it will start from 2026 based on 2025 data.

David Craig, co-chair of the TNFD, said the taskforce also expects other companies and financial institutions to start announcing their intention to adopt the recommendations from this week.

He said: “We invite other early adopters to join them in signalling their intentions to start adopting and using the recommendations.”

The TNFD also released additional guidance to help organisations get started with corporate reporting related to nature.

It comes after a two-year design process and development phase involving market participants, science experts and other stakeholders from across the world.

The UK is among the countries where policymakers, regulators, asset owners, asset managers and businesses are increasing their focus on nature-related risk management and the necessity for the private sector to tackle global nature loss.

Elizabeth Mrema, co-chair of the TNFD, said: “Nature degradation is increasing and with six of the nine planetary boundaries already breached, nature risk is financial risk.

“Yet to date, businesses have mostly considered nature to be an unlimited and free provider of critical inputs into their operations and value chains.

“Scaling up action to restore the resilience of nature is now a global policy and regulatory priority, and it is business-critical, posing significant long-term financial impact if not acted upon.”

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said: “We encourage UK businesses and financial institutions across sectors to engage with the TNFD’s recommendations and the work of the UK’s TNFD National Consultation Group.

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey urged engagement with the TNFD’s recommendations (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“The nature risk management and disclosure recommendations released today are important in shifting the dial on nature loss and we continue to actively support the TNFD’s work.

“We look forward to the TNFD informing a global baseline on nature and broader sustainability standards and reporting so that global capital allocations can increasingly be aligned with environmental goals at an international and domestic level.”

Sacha Sadan, director of ESG at the Financial Conduct Authority, said: “We welcome today’s release of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) risk management and disclosure framework.

“The framework will serve as a useful tool to help companies and financial institutions assess, manage and report on nature-related risks and opportunities.”

The TNFD recommendations mark the continued development of a global baseline for organisations to report non-financial information like that on climate, sustainability and nature.

The taskforce said the recommendations are consistent with other reporting guidelines including those from the International Sustainability Standards Board and the Global Reporting Initiative.

It also said the recommendations are aligned with the Global Biodiversity Framework signed by 196 nations at the UN’s biodiversity summit in Montreal in December.

This means companies will be able to align their corporate reporting with the global policy goals as they are doing on climate related issues like the Paris Climate Agreement to limit warming to 1.5C.

Mr Craig said: “Businesses and financial institutions now have the tools they need to take action.”

He added that adopting TNFD recommendations “represent a step-change in the momentum and capacity for business and finance to identify, assess and disclose their exposure to nature-related issues in a manner consistent with climate-related-reporting”.