Companies not doing enough to protect nature, environmental non-profit says

  • Survey of 7,700 companies largest ever - non-profit CDP
  • Report comes ahead of global biodiversity talks at COP15
  • 'Unravelling of nature is underway' - BNP's Ambachtsheer

LONDON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Companies are not doing enough to stop biodiversity loss, and most have no idea about the damage to nature caused by their supply chains, a report from environmental disclosure platform CDP said on Wednesday.

Around 20,000 companies report to non-profit CDP on a range of climate and other data, which is then used by investors and other financial market participants to track board progress on the issues and assess related risks and opportunities.

CDP said responses to its questionnaire on biodiversity from more than 7,700 companies marks the largest-ever such self-assessment, and comes ahead of global talks to hammer out a deal on protecting biodiversity in Montreal starting Dec. 7.

Among the questions likely to be discussed is whether to make corporate reporting on the issue mandatory, something asked for by more than 330 businesses including GSK (GSK.L) and H&M Group (HMb.ST).

A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development suggested so-called eco-system services such as crop pollination and water purification were worth up to $140 trillion a year.

Almost half of companies to respond to CDP said they were considering biodiversity in their corporate strategies, including making commitments to do better and putting governance mechanisms in place to ensure compliance.

Despite that, 55% of respondents had not taken action to progress their commitments over the last year and 70% did not assess the impact of their supply chain on biodiversity, CDP said.

Jane Ambachtsheer, global head of sustainability at BNP Paribas Asset Management, which has backed the call for mandatory disclosure, said better and more consistent disclosure from the private sector was needed.

"The unravelling of nature is underway and investors need to act now, starting with a better understanding of how our investments impact nature and how nature loss may translate into financial risks," Ambachtsheer said.

Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Jan Harvey

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