The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on Tuesday, September 9, 2020 announced a new four-year financial contribution to its work on biodiversity science and policy by the H&M Group. The Swedish-based global fashion retailer has committed significant, non-earmarked support to IPBES, in addition to a wider engagement with biodiversity issues.
Speaking about the announcement, H&M Group CEO, Helena Helmersson, said: “Biodiversity loss and the climate crisis are two of the most pressing issues of our time. As the global fashion retailer that we are, and with the ambition that we have – to become climate positive by 2040 – we have a big role to play by leading by example and inspiring others to address both climate change and biodiversity. We must take responsibility for our future together.
“Responsible private sector engagement with science and evidence is vital to ensure the protection and promotion of biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people,” said Dr. Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary of IPBES. “The IPBES Global Assessment Report identified key leverage points for transformations to sustainability – such as visions of what constitutes a good life, consumption and waste, technology, innovation and investment, as well as values and action. Private sector efforts directed at these leverage points can yield exceptional results.”
“The fashion industry is undoubtedly dependent on nature and healthy ecosystems,” said Ms. Helmersson. “Formalising our ambition for biodiversity will help us to operate within the planetary boundaries, while creating a more resilient supply chain and steering our business towards meaningful growth. To further develop our actions towards a sustainable future, we want to strengthen our position through collaborations with important stakeholders. With that said, we are very excited about our brand new partnership with IPBES, which will support us in developing our approach on biodiversity, agriculture and water.”
IPBES will soon begin the planning and scoping process for a new 3-year expert assessment of the impact and dependence of business on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people. The assessment will identify criteria and indicators to measure this impact and dependency, also considering how such metrics can be integrated into wider sustainability policies and action.
“In much the same way that policy decisions by governments are more effective when informed by the best available evidence and expertise, better-informed business decisions and actions are essential for the transformative change we need,” said Dr. Larigauderie.