Operationalizing transformative change for business in the context of nature positive.

Booth, H., Milner-Gulland, E., McCormick, N., & Starkey, M. | OSFPreprints | 2023 | Peer Reviewed | Original research | https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/vk2hq


The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) sets a specific target for reducing the private sector’s negative impacts on biodiversity and increasing positive impacts, as part of overall efforts to halt and reverse biodiversity loss within the coming decade. In parallel, ‘nature positive’ is emerging as an inclusive and ambitious rallying call that aligns with the GBF. Yet tinkering with business as usual will not deliver these ambitions; calls for transformative change in business’s relationship with biodiversity are increasingly strong. However there remains a lack of clarity on how to operationalize transformative change in the context of nature positive, particularly how to develop meaningful actions and measurable targets. This gap risks confusion, greenwashing, and failure to achieve global goals. This article aims to fill this gap, by drawing on existing literature on social change to offer a practical framework for understanding and operationalizing transformative change for business and biodiversity. We define and describe the role of transformative change towards a nature positive ambition and summarize the different types and scales of transformative actions that companies could take into a simple framework, which we illustrate with case studies from food retail and mining. This framework could be used to help companies develop and plan transformative actions, set targets, and monitor progress over time, as well as hold them accountable to ‘transformative’ claims; however, it can only contribute to a nature positive commitment if it is implemented in parallel with meaningful actions to avoid, reduce, restore, and compensate for contemporary attributable impacts. We invite companies to test our framework for their own planning, decision-making and disclosures, to advance meaningful application of transformative actions towards delivery of transformative change for a nature positive future.