Nature-based insetting involves implementing nature-based solutions (see below) within a company’s supply chain to offset damage to the climate, biodiversity and people. It also involves embedding the value of biodiversity and consideration of climate into all levels of decision-making.
Nature-based insetting targets activities along a supply chain where NbS can be directly integrated, developed, and monitored. For example, the implementation of agroforestry across commodity-production landscapes, combined with the protection and restoration of nearby ecosystems, can enhance yield. Such activities also make commodity supply chains more resilient to the effects of climate change, such as the increasing intensity and frequency of droughts, flooding, fire, and pests.
Delivering economic growth whilst supporting biodiversity and achieving sustainable development goals is one of the greatest challenges and opportunities of our century. Biodiversity loss and climate change bring operational risks; production predictability and resilience risks; liability risks; and regulatory, reputational, market and financial risks. The COVID-19 pandemic is also increasing our awareness of the fragility of global supply chains. Pressure is on now on businesses to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities, based on transparent monitoring and reporting for multiple social and environmental impacts. To monitor and mitigate these impacts using NbS, businesses need to increase transparency, develop comprehensive evidence-based performance metrics for climate, biodiversity, and social wellbeing, and proactively engage with communities along their supply chain to collect on-the-ground information. Nature-based insetting along a supply chain can reduce impacts on GHG emissions; implemented in a socially just way (i.e. by and with local communities), nature-based insetting will also yield long-term benefits for biodiversity and society.
New approaches are emerging to support companies in making informed decisions on how they manage their impact on the environment and society. Nature-based insetting draws on these innovations to develop a robust strategy for monitoring and managing impacts and implementing nature-based solutions to future-proof supply chains.
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are actions that involve people working with nature to address societal challenges, providing benefits for both human well-being and biodiversity. They involve the protection, restoration, or management of natural and semi-natural ecosystems; the sustainable management of aquatic systems and working lands; and the creation of novel ecosystems in urban areas and along coastlines. Some NbS represent relatively recent innovations such as green and blue infrastructure in cities and floating gardens in rural Bangladesh. Others build on 1000s of years of traditional ways of working with natural habitats to buffer the impacts of environmental change. The concept is grounded in the knowledge that healthy natural and managed ecosystems produce a diverse range of services on which human wellbeing depends. These include storing carbon, reducing the risk of floods and wildfire, controlling erosion, stabilizing shorelines and slopes, providing clean air and water, fuel, medicines, and genetic resources, and enhancing soil fertility and the productivity of our working landscapes in more variable climates. If NbS are properly implemented to meet robust guidelines, they can also support biodiversity and bring livelihood and other economic benefits to local communities.
For more information about nature-based solutions, and their scientific basis, please visit www.naturebasedsolutions.org. For best practice examples of NbS from around the world, please visit: https://casestudies.naturebasedsolutionsinitiative.org/