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Why a Nature Strategy Is Good for Business Strategy – 10 Tips

A woman in a greenhouse with a tablet conducting a nature positive policy for her business.
The nature positive movement is calling on the world, and especially companies, to halt and reverse nature loss. [Studio Science | Salesforce]

Organizations have a responsibility to protect and restore nature. Find out 10 tips from leaders in the nature positive movement to ground your business.

Nature is not always a walk in the park. In the corporate context, nature can be both a risk and an opportunity. Salesforce is committed to accelerating our customers and the broader nature positive movement. That’s why we launched Business + Nature, a webinar series in partnership with Wonderoom, to help answer some of the tough questions companies are asking about how to integrate business and nature.

The nature positive movement is calling on the world, and especially companies, to halt and reverse nature loss. The problem is, many companies don’t really know where to start. Nature is complex, and sustainability professionals are already feeling overwhelmed with how to make progress on their existing environmental commitments while meeting new ESG reporting regulations, such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

Technology, like Net Zero Cloud, will play an important role in ​​supporting regulatory compliance as well as driving impact for business, people, and the planet. Yet many companies are still searching for clarity on the right nature positive actions to take for their business.

Business professionals need to be able to cut through the noise and gain practical insights on building and implementing a nature strategy. In the series, leaders candidly share their practical experiences and lessons learned from working with nature to inspire and guide other companies as they navigate this topic. 

Here are 10 tips from leading nature experts to help you build and implement your nature positive strategy, so that it is both relevant to your business and delivers planetary impact.

Here’s what we’ll cover:  

What is a nature positive strategy?

A ‘nature positive strategy’ or ‘nature strategy’ is the set of actions a company will take to contribute to a nature positive future. 

At Salesforce, our Nature Positive Strategy is an evolving strategy to articulate our company’s relationship with nature and how we plan to play our part in realizing our commitment to a net zero, nature positive future rooted in people and climate justice. 

The Nature Strategy Handbook provides a step-by-step guide on how to develop a strategy for nature – whether that is as a stand-alone document or included in your business, climate or sustainability strategy. Every company will integrate its strategy in different ways — some with explicit nature commitments and targets, others that embed within existing policies and frameworks.

Ultimately, a strategy is a necessary foundation for implementing long-term business solutions.

What are the benefits of having a nature positive strategy?

Businesses both depend on and impact nature. This can create business risks and opportunities that up to this point have been overlooked by many companies. 

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report has continuously listed nature loss as a risk. But we know that implementing nature positive policies could create 395 million jobs and could generate more than $10 trillion USD in new annual business value by 2030. The nature positive movement encourages companies to take action and develop nature strategies

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Ten tips to build your nature positive strategy 

These tips can help you formulate your own nature positive strategy, with the insights from other organizations as well.

1. Transform problems into opportunities

Organizations have a responsibility to protect and restore nature. A nature strategy can help you figure out how. One globally recognized beauty brand aims to create business opportunities out of environmental and social challenges. Instead of avoiding problems that might arise, they encourage leaders to understand the problem and use business as a force to transform it into new possibilities.

Another world-renowned cosmetics company takes a similar approach where, because of their nature strategy,  they are more intentional about responsible sourcing and supply chain management across 17,000 natural materials sourced for their products. They are also then able to focus on innovation within their products, to decrease harm to nature and increase benefits. 

2. Develop a strategy that gives you roots to grow

Our speakers shared that a strategy is a stake in the ground, something that can evolve and change over time to meet stakeholder expectations or regulation. One international company, responsible for designing, manufacturing and supplying furniture products, shared that your strategy also doesn’t have to be a standalone strategy. Their approach has been to integrate nature into their existing business functions — like their climate strategy, supplier code of conduct, communication strategy, people strategy, and more. 

How to build the business case for a nature positive strategy

To develop and implement your nature strategy, you’ll need business buy-in. There are several reasons that might compel your C-suite to act. In some cases, they may already be on board. 

Eva Zabey, CEO of Business for Nature, shared that leadership is often already engaged, but that “we need to move from energy and enthusiasm to transformative action and make nature core to business decision-making.” This shift requires not just the C-suite, but also the board, middle management, and your stakeholders

3. Make it clear that climate and nature must be solved together 

At this point, your leadership is likely familiar with the climate crisis and may feel there is enough work to do on climate alone. However, it’s critical that leaders understand that nature isn’t just another item on the business agenda; it underpins our economy and is intimately linked with climate. Nature and climate must be solved together at a global scale, but also in the practical ways in which you address them as a company — like through supply chain engagement or investments into direct operations.

The good news is, your company may already be taking action for nature. It may be through a focus on water stewardship, tackling deforestation, investing in nature-based solutions, or engaging with suppliers. By prioritizing both climate and nature together, companies can ensure they’re making decisions that account for all risks and opportunities, while also working more efficiently.

4. Engage stakeholders across your business

Investor pressure on companies to take action for nature is mounting. You must find the right hook with your C-suite and internal decision makers: How is nature relevant to them? It may be that it supports or reinforces work that you’re already doing to manage climate-related risks. Your role is to communicate the urgency, while also maintaining optimism. Investments in nature, and supporting the nature positive movement, can be framed as a business and reputational opportunity

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Ready to take action? Forests and oceans offer solutions

The biodiversity crisis begs for investment today, and many companies want to act now. Ecologists have found that if we can protect and conserve our ecosystems, forests can capture about one-third of the excess carbon sitting in the atmosphere. However, healthy ecosystems aren’t just a climate solution. 

As ecologist Thomas Crowther put it, “the real value of nature is flourishing people and livelihoods,” and carbon sequestration is just an added benefit. There are a number of “no regrets” actions companies can take today to invest in nature. 

5. Make smart investments that can deliver returns for business, biodiversity, and people

Investments into nature-based solutions can help companies meet their climate commitments, but it is absolutely critical that companies take a holistic approach to investment. You’ll need to factor in social dimensions rather than just prioritizing narrow or singular outcomes such as carbon.

One luxury hotel and resort company takes a local-first approach and invests in the areas that surround their hotel properties. These investments benefit the local communities that live there (including their employees) by providing jobs and acting as a natural barrier to intense storms. In protecting their employees and properties, this company reinforces their own business resilience. 

6. Collaborate to scale your impact and investments

Society needs to close a massive finance gap to ensure we benefit from the potential of nature-based solutions. This requires organizations coming together to invest at scale. Organizations can use a variety of financial instruments to invest in nature, such as philanthropic grants, venture capital, carbon credits, and more. These investments can go further if done as part of coalitions like, which focuses on investing into forest ecosystems. Or, there are options to join funds that provide capital to deliver carbon credit projects focused on the restoration of nature. 

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Transparency builds trust

For some companies, their initial motivation to assess and manage nature-related risks and opportunities may be driven solely by a need to comply with regulations. Even if compliance is the driver, that doesn’t mean there isn’t real value that can be derived from the process of evaluating and disclosing nature-related impacts, dependencies, risks and opportunities. For both climate and nature, having an ESG management platform, like Net Zero Cloud, is critical to meet growing stakeholder demands.

7. Understand what matters so you can inform decision-making

Halting and reversing nature loss is a collective effort, but can sometimes feel disconnected from what a company can control. A decades-old renewable energy company has broken down nature positive practices into realistic tasks instead of unrealistic aspirations. Anyone can follow suit by starting with a materiality assessment to not only understand what topics to focus on but also to discover where in your value chain you should be working. 

8. Start with what you’ve got — and build from there

Do assess your nature-related impacts… and don’t be afraid to start with the information that you have. Whether you have existing nature positive goals or have yet to set targets, most companies will have information on their operational footprint and value chain (the same information used to calculate your greenhouse gas footprint).

Of course, this data quality will improve and become more robust with time, as more organizations disclose. Technology will also transform how companies measure and manage nature-related data. That’s why Salesforce, ERM, NatureMetrics and Planet launched the NatureTech Alliance, a first of its kind initiative to help companies tackle urgent biodiversity challenges and measure, track, and report their impact on nature.

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Companies can’t act alone to create a nature positive future

Companies are engaging in ecosystems around the world to realize their net zero and nature positive goals. In some cases, this conflicts with the rights and livelihoods of local communities and Indigenous Peoples, who are often stewards of the land. In fact, local communities and Indigenous Peoples protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity

In Business + Nature, we welcomed leaders from across Botswana, Mexico, Peru, and Canada to open the conversation on how business can better support and partner with local communities as they implement their nature strategies. 

9. Listen to the expertise of Indigenous Peoples and local communities most familiar with the land

Learn from Indigenous Peoples and local communities and elevate their knowledge and expertise. Companies need to think beyond themselves — rather than simply operating “business as usual” in their siloed industry, every company should think long-term: as students, collaborators, responsible investors, and stewards of a global-first mindset.

As Tino Aucca, co-founder and president of Acción Andina shared, we must have an “open dialogue” and learn from one another. His organization is reviving ancient cultural practices to deliver positive environmental and community outcomes in the Andes mountains. This is only possible because the stakeholders involved, from local communities to investors, understand the transformative power of this project for the livelihoods of those in the Andes.

10. Think for the long term 

Cultivating partnerships and realizing strong outcomes takes time. Organizations often expect the results of their investments to show within a year, when in reality natural ecosystems can take years to mature. Lasting transformation does not operate on set timelines; companies need to reset their expectations so they can work toward shared goals with communities. This involves showing respect, building trust, and co-creating equal partnerships to ensure there aren’t unequal power dynamics. 

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Pato Kelesitse, host of Sustain267 Podcast and climate justice advocate, underscored the relationship her community has with nature. She said, “We live off the land. The wellness of land and the wellness of nature is our wellness.” Companies will be in a better position to partner if they understand and respect the deep and long-standing connection between people and nature. 

“We live off the land. The wellness of land and the wellness of nature is our wellness.”

Pato Kelesitse

It’s time for a nature positive future 

The time for organizations to align their strategy and operations with a nature positive future has never been more clear or more urgent. The nature positive movement is gaining momentum, but it will require companies from all sectors taking action to ensure we can actually stop and reverse nature loss. The tools and guidance are there, but it’s up to companies to put them into practice. 

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