Global Biodiversity Framework Targets

Target 15. Businesses assess and disclose biodiversity dependencies, impacts and risks, and reduce negative impacts

Take legal, administrative or policy measures to encourage and enable business, and in particular to ensure that large and transnational companies and financial institutions:

 (a) Regularly monitor, assess and transparently disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, including with requirements for all large as well as transnational companies and financial institutions along their operations, supply and value chains, and portfolios;

(b) Provide information needed to consumers to promote sustainable consumption patterns;

(c) Report on compliance with access and benefit-sharing regulations and measures, as applicable;

in order to progressively reduce negative impacts on biodiversity, increase positive impacts, reduce biodiversity-related risks to business and financial institutions, and promote actions to ensure sustainable patterns of production.

Following are the guidance notes prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) for Target 15

All businesses are dependent in some way on biodiversity, however these dependencies are not always acknowledged or accounted for. By assessing and monitoring their impacts on biodiversity, businesses can better understand their relationship with biodiversity and assess the impacts of their activities on it and the risks posed by biodiversity loss to their operations and supply chains. Once these relationships, impacts and risks have been assessed and disclosed, it becomes easier to take concrete steps to address them. Governments have a particularly important role to play in this respect as they can put in place the legal, administrative or policy measures that can facilitate these assessments to take place in a consistent and equitable manner.

This target aims to progressively reduce the negative impacts and increase the positive impacts of business on biodiversity and to encourage more sustainable patterns of production. To accomplish this, countries should put in place measures to encourage and enable business and financial institutions to identify and disclose their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, and to report on these and other information, and to require this in the case of large and transnational companies and institutions:

  • Legal, administrative or policy measures – The target calls on Parties to develop a set of measures to encourage and enable businesses and financial institutions to undertake a set of actions to progressively reduce negative impacts on biodiversity and increase their positive impacts. Specifically, the target calls for legal, administrative or policy measures to encourage businesses to regularly monitor, assess and transparently disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, to provide relevant information to consumers and to report on compliance with access and benefit-sharing regulations and measures where applicable. 
  • Large and transnational companies and financial institutions  While this target applies to measures for all types of business it places a particular emphasis on large and transnational companies and financial institutions. These types of companies and institutions, owing to their size and areas of operation, supply and value chains and portfolios often have large net impacts on biodiversity. As such improvements in their monitoring, assessment and disclosure processes have significant potential to generate positive outcomes for biodiversity, particularly as issues associated with supply chains and portfolios are often overlooked in sustainability reports.
  • Regularly monitor, assess and transparently disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts  All businesses are dependent on biodiversity in some way. Many business practices have impacts on biodiversity. This element of the target calls for business to regularly assess and disclose these dependencies, impacts and risks. In the case of large and transnational companies and financial institutions, such assessments and disclosures should be made a requirement.
  • Provide information to consumers – Making information available to consumers on the impacts of business practices on biodiversity can empower people to make more informed decisions about their consumption patterns. This can in turn help to drive the demand for products with fewer impacts.  
  • Report on compliance with access and benefit-sharing  Some businesses make use of genetic resources in their business operations. Where this is the case, these businesses need to ensure that their operations comply with any relevant access and benefit-sharing instruments. Putting in place measures for reporting on this issue is one way of encouraging compliance.
  • Actions to reach Target 15 should take into account all of the considerations for implementation identified in section C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.  
  • Progress towards this target will contribute to the attainment of all goals of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Progress towards this target will also support the attainment of targets 45679101314, and 16. Conversely, progress towards targets 1819202122 and 23 will help support attainment of this target.  
  • This target addresses issues previously addressed under Aichi Biodiversity Target 4.
  • Elements of Target 15 are also addressed in the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, including targets 9.4 and 12.6.
  • What legal, administrative or policy measures are in place in the country to encourage the monitoring, assessment and disclosure of business risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity? Are there requirements for large as well as transnational companies and financial institutions? Do these account for supply chains and portfolios? How effective have these been? How could their effectiveness be improved?
  • What legal, administrative or policy measures are in place in the country to encourage businesses to provide information to consumers to promote sustainable consumption patterns? How effective have these been? How could their effectiveness be improved?
  • What legal, administrative or policy measures are in place in the country to encourage compliance with access and benefit-sharing regulations and measures? How effective have these been? How could their effectiveness be improved?
  • What are the opportunities and constraints in putting in place legal, administrative or policy measures on these issues? What are the potential ecological, economic, and social benefits and costs?
  • Who are the actors that may be affected by these legal, administrative or policy measures? How can they be involved and their needs addressed? What are the trade-offs to consider?
  • What additional resources (financial, human and technical) will be required to reach the national target? How can additional resources be raised? What are possible sources?

The monitoring framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework identifies the following indicators for this target:

Headline indicators: 

Component indicators

  • Indicator based on Task Force for Nature-related Financial Disclosures

Complementary indicators

  • Species threat abatement and restoration metric
  • Number of companies publishing sustainability reports

Note from the Secretariat: This guidance material provides an overview of the target by briefly introducing key terms, highlighting some of the implications for national target setting, and providing key points and guiding questions for consideration as part of national target-setting exercises. It also identifies the adopted indicators to monitor progress and resources that could assist with national target setting and implementation. This material should be considered a work in progress, and it will be periodically updated with inputs from Parties and partner organizations in the light of experiences with its use. This information is meant to serve as a resource that Parties and others may wish to consider as they implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. It does not replace or qualify decision 15/4 or 15/5