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Latest Business Survey Shows Businesses See The Need And The Reward From Investing In Nature Projects

Regenerate Nature Programme launched in response to latest nature report

82% of businesses in Aotearoa, New Zealand say they want to ‘do the right thing’ for nature. They just need investment-ready projects able to prove their worth.

A new report based on a business survey has revealed:

More than three quarters (82%) of businesses surveyed said they want to ‘do the right thing’ for nature.

Nearly three quarters (70%) said they'll increase investment in nature projects in the next five years.

Nearly a quarter (24%) have nature targets on such things as freshwater and deforestation.

The study also uncovered what’s needed to unleash this potential. Businesses need:

Support to better understand the true value of nature to their business.

Easy ways to take action, in the shape of trustworthy projects to invest in.

Accessible and easy materials to implement nature action within their business.

Collaborations that unite business action on nature – to magnify their impact and mitigate risk.

The findings are contained within Sustainable Business Network’s (SBN) report, Regenerating Nature in Aotearoa New Zealand – The Transformative Role of Business.

It reveals widespread support for business investment in nature projects and identifies key ways to increase that investment.

Investing in nature creates business opportunities. They include enhancing brand reputation, reducing risk, creating resilient supply chains and unlocking new opportunities for partnerships, innovation and growth.

Rachel Brown ONZM, is Founder and CEO of SBN. She says: “We rely on nature so investing in nature is smart business. It will help to create the kind of economy we all want, one without pollution and waste, where nature is valued for its many roles including in climate resiliency and wellbeing. Properly valuing nature ensures our long-term sustainability. It reduces risks. For business it enhances trust and brand reputation. It unlocks new opportunities, new ideas and success.”

To respond to the need from the research findings, SBN is launching a new Regenerate Nature Programme. It’s a five-year collaboration between community, Māori, businesses, public and philanthropic sectors. The aim is to dramatically accelerate and scale up action on nature in Aotearoa New Zealand.

It will also further expand SBN’s work helping businesses align their operations with local communities, the climate and the natural world. This will embrace mātauranga Māori and other knowledge systems.

Sam Rowland is SBN’s Programme Manager, Nature Systems Change, and is lead author of the report. She says, “Businesses have a crucial role to play in regenerating the landscapes, waterways and seas of Aotearoa New Zealand. By working together, we can halt and reverse the loss of native wildlife and wild places. Meeting this challenge requires collaboration between business, government and communities. By investing in nature businesses can support community wellbeing, thriving biodiversity and climate resilience in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Wellington craft brewery Garage Project is one of the businesses that took part in the study. The private company is already active in nature regeneration.

Founder and Head Brewer Pete Gillespie adds his perspective as a business owner: “Helping with regeneration projects is important to us because we want brewing to be a sustainable industry long-term. This also lets our customers know that we are actively working to reduce our impact, and enjoys great support from our employees.”

SBN partnered with the Ministry for the Environment and Z Energy in the early stages of developing the programme to help regenerate nature, with other organisations encouraged to get involved.

Anne Haira, Deputy Secretary Partnerships and Public Affairs / Climate Adaptation, from the Ministry for the Environment, says, “We came on board as a foundation partner because we recognise that collaboration is needed to accelerate action on nature regeneration. This partnership will help bring together business investment and projects that restore or regenerate nature.”

Z's Head of Community and Sustainability, Abbie Bull, says, "Nature is an important part of our lives in Aotearoa, and we all have the opportunity to do something in service of positive outcomes. We challenge the business community to join us in the programme and get behind nature."

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