Earth Day: Building a Greener Future with Impactful Business Strategies

April 22, 2024 EcoVadis EN

As we recognize Earth Day 2024, businesses around the world are being called upon to reevaluate their sustainability efforts and take meaningful action to protect our planet. In a time of accelerating biodiversity loss and growing environmental challenges, forward-thinking organizations spoke at this year’s Sustain about their sustainable procurement strategies that help promote and create a positive impact for a greener future.

Business of Biodiversity: Navigating the Path to Nature Positive

Business for Nature is a global coalition of influential organizations aiming to achieve a nature-positive economy by 2030. Nature positive is a global goal agreed upon at the 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 (compared to 2020 levels). As explained by Zoe Greindl, business action advisor at Business for Nature, “Every business depends on nature and the services it provides. Raw materials, clean air, climate regulation, and healthy ecosystems supporting pollination – these are all essential to long-term business success.” She adds, “A nature-positive transition does bring opportunities. That opportunity isn’t just related to mitigating risks – but also to generate revenue through new markets and products, to reduce costs through resource efficiency and easier access to capital.”

Fedrigoni, a manufacturer of specialty papers, is one company that is putting sustainability at the heart of its business strategy to support a nature-positive transition, explained by Eugenio Brunori, group sustainability specialist. “We want sustainability to inform everything we do – it’s related to our products, our processes, our people.”

Working with EcoVadis, Fedrigoni fosters partnerships and engages “all actors” in its value chain to continue accelerating its biodiversity journey toward a nature-positive economy. Starting with a comprehensive risk assessment into Fedrigoni’s supply chain, EcoVadis provides the company with a better understanding of its trading partners’ sustainability performance. This allows Fedrigoni to identify areas for improvement across its value chain and set challenging targets with a clear timeline.  “After you have looked at yourself… as you'll start enlarging the scope, you see that the true impacts are on your value chain,” notes Brunori. More can be read about Fedrigoni’s sustainability journey here.

Sustainability Strategies That Make Compliance a Cornerstone for Performance

Pressure on businesses is intensifying, with 196 governments committed to halting biodiversity loss by 2030, and regulations like the EU's CSRD mandating disclosure of nature impacts. Stakeholders, including investors and consumers, are increasingly demanding transparency and action on biodiversity.

Organizations like Forum for the Future advocate for proactive sustainability practices to shape a just and regenerative future. Chief Executive Sally Uren urges businesses to “think about the future we want to create for the next generation. We need to combine E (Environmental) and S (Social) altogether.” Uren adds that exceeding regulatory requirements can lead to a resilient supply chain, giving companies a competitive edge while also benefiting the environment. 

Sonja Haut, head impact valuation at Novartis, echoes this sentiment, advocating for a proactive approach toward a just and regenerative future that transcends regulatory mandates. “Just adding a tad more than required by regulations can create more impact and move toward value creation.”

Haut also notes that regulations are often lagging indicators (of emerging trends). Given this, it makes sense for businesses to proactively integrate environmental and social aspects into their operations. This includes investing in supply chain resilience for operational efficiency and fostering innovation, as Uren explains. She says, navigating the sustainability landscape involves considering not just what businesses do but also how they do it. “Focus on single issues, then on interconnecting issues; think about how you create co-solutions,” she advises. 

One of the most effective ways for businesses to go beyond compliance is by giving suppliers the tools to expand from disclosure to action and improvement. And EcoVadis is the provider of choice to help organizations navigate this journey. Through the  EcoVadis Ratings, organizations can collaborate closely with their trading partners on sustainability to build transparency, drive tangible improvement and scale positive impact throughout value chains. Organizations first invite their trading partners to be rated by EcoVadis and use the insights to embed sustainability into their procurement or investment strategies. Then, rated companies use their scorecard results and the EcoVadis platform to improve their ESG management systems and adopt sustainable best practices. Finally, EcoVadis enables companies to track and report the outcomes of this process, helping both requesting and rated companies fine-tune their approach and scale their efforts.

This Earth Day, EcoVadis invites businesses around the globe to take the next steps in their sustainability journeys so they can not only meet regulatory requirements but also go beyond to lead the charge in accelerating biodiversity and building a sustainable future for generations to come.

Contact us today if you’re just setting out on your sustainable procurement journey, or if you want to take your journey to the next level. 

About the Author

EcoVadis EN

EcoVadis is a purpose-driven company whose mission is to provide the world's most trusted business sustainability ratings. Businesses of all sizes rely on EcoVadis’ expert intelligence and evidence-based ratings to manage risk and compliance, drive decarbonization, and improve the sustainability performance of their business and value chain. Its AI-powered risk mapping, actionable scorecards, benchmarks, carbon action tools, and insights guide a resilience and improvement journey for environmental, social and ethical practices across 200 industry categories and 175 countries.

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