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More ESG

While the Natural Asset Companies have been successfully put on hold, at least for now, there has been another Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scheme in the works. Originating out of the United Nations, ESG began with the idea that investors should determine how businesses operate on an environmental, social, and governance framework, or its sustainability practices. Now, the new scheme is expecting those corporations to stem nature and biodiversity loss. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has a short video of examples.

Launched in 2022, the posh name for this, Nature Action 100, was conceived by the Launching Investor Group, a conglomerate of different investment and asset management groups worth $24 trillion, and even the Church Commissioners for England. Other partners include Ceres, the investors group on climate change IIGCC, Planet Tracker, and Finance for Biodiversity Foundation.

Through a letter, Nature Action 100 engaged with 100 companies whom it deems as major drivers of nature loss, exploiters of resources, and contributors to soil, water, and solid waste pollution, requesting them to “align their business model with the targets and goals of the “Global Biodiversity Framework” and restore nature and ecosystems.

Some of those company sectors include pharmaceuticals; agricultural chemicals; household and personal goods; food, ranging from meat and dairy producers to processed foods; forestry and packaging, including forest management and pulp and paper products; and metals and mining. Companies that have been tagged for ravaging the earth include some familiar names like Cost-co, Home Depot, Kellogg, Kimberly Clark, Lowes, McDonalds, Nestlé, Pepsi, Sherwin-Williams, Target, Tyson, Walmart, and Weyerhaeuser, all of which will be analyzed for compliance. The message is clear, if you don’t do this, we won’t invest in you.

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The goal for these companies is integrating natural capital considerations into their ESG programs. A variation of natural asset companies, natural capital is a conceptual approach that looks at nature through the prism of economics” requiring “Better stewardship”. Thus, companies must pledge to place nature above all production.

Initial expectations are that these companies will outline a plan that includes six actions: Ambition, Assessment, Targets, Implementation, Governance, and Engagement. So, for now, it is just developing a plan to meet investor demands. Similar benchmarks were created for Climate Action 100+ in which there are already 170 companies participating.

Instead of corporations steering the agenda on the climate, as with wind and solar power, this agenda focuses on corporations preventing the reduction of nature’s assets and biodiversity through its production of goods. In this WEF video, this concept is discussed. At the 4″ mark Elizabeth Mrema sensationally declares that earth has lost millions of species, 83% of land is lost, and 85% of wetlands have been destroyed, thus driving the need for this transition. Oh, the humanity! It is a mystery how anyone is surviving.

The panel also references “nature based solutions” which are “are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems” which is what these investors are commanding from the companies. It ends with a discussion on how to “sell” this to the world and sucking the younger generation into being social activists to sell it, starting with the education system.

Isn’t the threat of monetary loss unless these companies comply, as Kjerstin Braathen states at the 22:40 mark in the video, a form of blackmail? Or extortion with investors making a threat with the intention to cause harm through economic loss? It all just sounds dirty and corrupt.

Ms. Braathen also acknowledges, as she smiles, that this transition will cause some “pain” with resulting shortages in energy and “inflationary pressures” at the 22:41″ mark. Geez lady, thanks a lot.

It will also be just a matter of time before these corporations will put expectations on suppliers for the same practices. Walmart is already on board. Taking these actions won’t cost companies anything, the cost of this insanity is, and will be, borne by the consumer. This is just another example of how the corporate world has taken hold of how lives are being transitioned. Bring on the seaweed.

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