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Earth Day 2023: Preserving Wildlife Important For Corporate World

By Pradip Shah April 22, 2023

Overlooking the importance of wildlife conservation can make businesses vulnerable to risks such as depletion of natural resources and supply chain disruptions 

Earth Day 2023: Preserving Wildlife Important For Corporate World
Corporates can channel their sustainability efforts towards afforestation to restore the world’s green cover.
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a warning that the Earth’s temperature is projected to rise by 1.5 degrees in the coming decades. It is imperative that we make a concerted effort towards slowing this increase as it could have a devastating impact on our very existence. The delicate balance of our ecosystem and biodiversity can be disrupted by the slightest change and our habitat and wildlife will most certainly be adversely affected. Corporates must play a proactive role in mitigating this climate crisis. This would not only go a long way to protect our biosphere but is essential for driving strategic growth.
 
While climate action is often seen as a potential deterrent to economic growth, neglecting it will result in far greater risk to the economy. It is crucial we take climate action into consideration as part of our strategic growth.

Overlooking the importance of wildlife conservation can make businesses vulnerable to risks such as depletion of natural resources and supply chain disruptions. This will undermine the resilience of businesses and negatively affect the financial performance and long-term sustainability.

Failure to conserve our wildlife will have serious repercussions for our food security. Consider the declining bee population and its impact on food production. Bees are highly proficient pollinators and play an integral role in the world’s food supply. They are responsible for pollinating various crops including fruits, vegetables and nuts, and their vanishing population is a cause for alarm.  Studies suggest that a loss of habitat is one of the reasons for their decline. If bees were to go extinct, it would have a devastating effect on food security. Aside from terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic species are also under threat.
 
As civil society, consumers and investors demand businesses to show their green credentials, sustainability will become a critical consideration for the corporate world in the years to come. Sustainability is a critical component of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). Research points out that strong ESG scores can improve the growth trajectory of organisations.
 
A study by McKinsey has shown that sustainability can improve operating profits by up to 60 per cent. Moreover, as businesses face regulatory pressures from their partners, companies that prioritise sustainability can gain a competitive advantage, easier access to markets and, more importantly, win customer acceptance.
 
Additionally, leading market research points out that sustainability plays a role in attracting and retaining top talent. Close to 20 per cent of those surveyed cited ESG among top-five factors for remaining with their employers.

One crucial way to help slow down rising temperatures is to reduce the amount of greenhouse emissions. This can be done through nature-based solutions such as the restoration of forests and water bodies. Trees are highly effective in sequestering carbon. Estimates suggest that a mature tree can absorb approximately 20 kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
 
Corporates can channel their sustainability efforts towards afforestation to restore the world’s green cover. Trees help maintain the delicate balance in the environment, purify the air, regulate the water system and conserve our wildlife. The overarching benefits of preserving our habitat and protecting our wildlife lie in supporting a sustainable ecosystem that can facilitate social and economic growth for everyone and generations to come.

(Pradip Shah is co- founder, grow trees.com.  He has been instrumental in establishing CRISIL and is currently chairman of Pfizer Limited, Kansai Nerolac Paints, Sonata Software, BASF India and director of Bajaj Auto, Godrej & Boyce, Mane Kancor Ingredients. He also serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Infomo Global of Singapore and as member, Dun & Bradstreet International Advisory Board.)

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