Stakeholder Engagement

Engage relevant third-party stakeholders

While undertaking the LEAP approach, corporate and financial institution analysts and executives are encouraged to actively engage relevant third-party stakeholders. These include local government authorities, scientific and conservation partners, local and indigenous community organisations, and other businesses dependent on ecosystem services and impacting nature in the same or connected ecosystems.

Engagement with these partners, particularly local and indigenous communities, which are long-term stakeholders in and stewards of the ecosystem, can yield valuable additional information. This can inform a robust assessment about the business-nature interface of the company, its dependencies and impacts on environmental assets and ecosystem services, cumulative impacts, other dependencies on those assets and services; and ultimately the materiality of its nature-related risks and opportunities.

Engagement with local communities, non-profits and governments enriches the organisation’s impact assessment. A complete and robust assessment includes not only an analysis of the implications of nature-related risks and opportunities for the organisation itself, but also of how impacts on society may affect the organization now and in the future. Local communities and civil society groups may have specific perspectives on and experience of how an organisation’s interactions with nature affect them. They may also have specific knowledge and expertise to offer on how to measure and assess the integrity and resilience of local ecosystems. Considering these perspectives in the impact assessment can strengthen management’s confidence in the forward outlook on the organisation or investment portfolio’s nature-related risk and opportunities.

Collaboration with other businesses, including supply chain partners upstream and customers downstream, provides essential insights and additional resources for every step of the assessment process. Given the globalised nature of value chains, trade, economic and financial flows, nature dependencies and impacts can be significant outside the organisation’s direct operations. This is often where organisations and investors can have blind spots in their risk assessment: physical risks along the value chain can create transition risks, such as regulatory, litigation and reputational risks, that have not been adequately foreseen. Engaging other businesses with similar or shared dependencies in a specific ecosystem may help to provide new perspectives on dependencies, impacts and risks that the organisation has not adequately identified itself.

Stakeholder engagement and collaboration can improve the robustness of the assessment. Sharing resources and expertise with other organisations, and experiences with wider civil society actors, can make the impact assessment more collective, holistic and robust. Collaboration activities could include meeting with risk management teams of key economic peers that have oversight of, or expertise in, some of the drivers of nature-related risks and opportunities. Engagement actions with local communities and civil society groups should be recurring and could include meeting with representatives to share their views and experiences on impacts. Organisations should discuss how outcomes and results may be refined in the future and what implications they present for both the organisation and the stakeholders themselves.