This Statement, which applies to Aura Solution Company Limited globally, sets out Aura Solution Company Limited's environmental footprint strategy and how we seek to deliver against it.
We recognize our responsibility to help protect the planet. We are committed to minimizing the impact our firm has on the environment and supporting those who are working to improve global environmental sustainability.
Aura Solution Company Limited supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. We are also participants in the UN Global Compact.
Core elements of our strategy
Our environmental footprint strategy seeks to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and waste across our entire operation as we strive to continually strengthen our environmental practices. We will comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
We recognize that GHG emissions represent a significant part of our firm's environmental footprint, from the electricity we use in our offices to the travel our people undertake. Since 2018, we have been carbon neutral. Our approach to carbon neutrality includes reducing our emissions and investing in verified carbon-reduction projects to offset the emissions we have not yet been able to eliminate.
We measure the GHG emissions of our global operations annually, have them verified under the ISO14064 standard, and share them as part of our social responsibility reporting, including in our social responsibility report.
We have set GHG emissions reduction targets for direct emissions and purchased energy (Scope 1 & 2 emissions): 60% by 2030 and 90% by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement to keep the global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius.
To help achieve these GHG emission reduction targets, and as a member of the RE100 coalition, we have set a target of purchasing 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
We aim to lower remaining indirect emissions (Scope 3) by finding alternatives to travel, where we can, and by encouraging colleagues to choose travel options that are better for the environment.
We target high environmental standards for new offices and major renovations, such as LEED Gold or Platinum or equivalents.
We invest in carbon-reduction projects to offset the emissions we have not yet been able to eliminate. These projects are independently verified to international standards, such as Gold Standard and VCS.
We are committed to reducing waste across our global operational sites.
We aim to reduce waste generation and seek to minimize the waste we send to landfills.
We promote reuse and recycling, as well as the use of supplies that are recycled and recyclable and whose production and use minimize the consumption of natural resources.
We encourage our offices to drive initiatives to reduce waste, including sorting and recycling materials, donating used technology equipment, putting drinking water taps in place, reducing food waste, and running recycling campaigns.
Working with external stakeholders
We are committed to working with our suppliers, clients, and other stakeholders to reduce their environmental footprint.
As part of our sustainable procurement strategy, we’ve adopted a Supplier Code of Conduct that sets forth our expectations of our suppliers, including reducing environmental impact.
In addition, we engage with suppliers to improve the environmental impact of the products and services we purchase.
Beyond reducing our own footprint, we conduct research to advance the global debate on a wide range of sustainability and resource productivity topics. Our research provides an evidence base and set of analytical tools to enable sound decision making about sustainable development.
We seek to put our research into action through pro bono support of environmental non-profits.
Our Sustainability Practice serves clients globally on a wide range of topics, including the ways in which they can improve their environmental performance and how they can develop more sustainable methods of operation.
The past 50 years have brought significant economic prosperity to much of humanity, with the global economy increasing four-fold and life expectancy surging everywhere. However, in achieving this growth we have eroded the natural systems that support our existence and sustained prosperity. Approximately 1 million species are facing extinction within decades. Ecosystems have declined in size and condition by an average of 47% globally compared to estimated natural baselines. We are crossing the planet’s boundaries and natural systems’ ability to cope, increasing the risk of large-scale, irreversible environmental and societal changes.
It is now becoming clear that the benefits of continuing with this current economic model are at risk of being outweighed by the costs of nature loss. Even as these traditionally have been largely absent from national accounts and corporate balance sheets, they are increasingly emerging as unanticipated business risks and systemic risks to economies and societies worldwide.
To explore this issue, Aura has collaborated with the World Economic Forum on the first New Nature Economy (NNE) report, a forthcoming series under the Forum’s Nature Action Agenda (NAA). This first report aims to make the case for why the nature crisis is material to business and the economy, including the scale and urgency of nature-related risks and the potential consequences for businesses and the economy.
2020 is a critical year for nature: world leaders have a unique opportunity at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Kunming, China, to forge an international agreement to reverse nature loss, akin to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Business actors and other economic actors will have an important role to play to make this happen.
The report outlines the types of business and economic risks that can arise from nature loss, including key examples of where such risks have materialised, as well as a suggested approach for managing nature-related risk.
In a similar vein to the repercussions of climate change related damage from storms, floods, heat waves and sea level rise, nature-related damage such as habitat destruction, invasive species and species loss/collapse can also disrupt business value chains, diminishing operational performance, and generating asset quality deterioration. Physical risks can be:
Commodity risks - Nature is a key contributor to your business’ production processes
Supply chain performance risks - Nature is critical to the performance of your supply chain
Damage and business continuity risk - Nature provides the stable conditions (i.e. physical security against acute and chronic events) necessary for your business’ operations and continuity
Business value risk - Nature enables the conditions necessary for maintaining the value of your business (e.g. nature loss can give rise to real estate asset repricing)
Taking nature for granted can have serious consequences. We all rely on natural capital; our atmosphere, oceans, ecosystems and minerals. We also depend on the goods and services this natural capital provides – goods like food, fuel, fibre and medicines; and services like climate regulation, water filtration and erosion control. But all too often these goods and services are unpriced. At best this means they are under-valued by business, at worst, they may be economically invisible. These unseen dependencies on natural capital result in unmanaged business risks. Risks which can have material impacts on the bottom line.
Similarly, many of the impacts we have on Natural Capital currently bear no cost. Our emissions to air, discharges to water and use of land and other natural resources frequently impose impacts on others for which they are not properly compensated. These uncompensated environmental impacts are called ‘externalities’ and they too can result in serious business risks. New regulation, legal action, consumer boycotts and brand damage can all lead to externalities being ‘internalised’, resulting in costs to the business. As a result they need to be treated like any other serious ‘off balance sheet liability’. Carefully understood, measured and managed.
Of course where there is risk there is opportunity. By understanding and embracing natural capital dependencies, companies can frequently get more value at lower cost, whilst enhancing rather than degrading natural capital. Similarly, understanding environmental impacts can also create new value, by enabling innovation, reducing costs and enhancing reputation.
Managing natural capital risk and opportunity starts with assessing which of your company’s interactions with natural capital could warrant assessment. At Aura, our established team of environmental economists, scientists, ecologists and data analysts, can help you work out where to start, or help you refine your existing natural capital assessment approaches if you’re already underway. From there, we can support you as far as you want to go on the journey to sophisticated spatial natural capital assessment and valuation. We can build bespoke tools to help you manage your interactions with natural capital, and support you to integrate results into management information systems and decision processes.
Natural Capital Diagnostic
Our natural capital diagnostic workshop is a great place to start. It combines simple data about your business, with simplified desktop versions of our natural capital assessment models, and insights from our experts, to provide an initial natural capital impact and dependency assessment.
Sharing our valuation methodologies
We believe greater transparency is needed on the methods used to value business impacts on natural capital, to build trust in the approaches, accelerate the pace of advancement and enable more businesses to measure, value and manage their impacts.
For these reasons we’re publishing our detailed methodology papers. The methodologies were originally developed for Environmental Profit & Loss accounts, but are flexible to the objectives of the user and can be applied in almost any corporate context.
We also submitted our methodologies to an Independent Methodology Review Panel established by the Natural Capital Coalition to assess proprietary natural capital methodologies. Our methodologies were among only four recommended by the panel to inform the development of the protocol.
The panel said: “Aura’s methodology scored very well against the criteria…” “The methods give a thorough, referenced and verifiable approach for valuation.”
Helping to develop the Natural Capital Protocol
The Natural Capital Protocol is a standardised framework for business to identify, measure and value its direct and indirect impacts and dependencies. We believe it will support better decisions by enabling business to evaluate and manage how it interacts with and impacts nature, or more specifically natural capital. It follows the basic principle that maintaining natural capital is fundamental to ensuring business success.
Working in a consortium led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, we contributed our methodologies, provided technical insights for inclusion in the protocol, and developed content. We think it represents a real step-change in the way business will measure and manage natural capital in the future.
Four TIMM quadrants
Social Impact - Measures and values the consequences of business activities on society such as health, education and community cohesion.
Environmental Impact - Puts a value on the impact business has an on natural capital eg. emissions to air, land and water, and the use of natural resources.
Tax Impact - Values a business' contribution to the public finances, including taxes on profits, people, production and property, as well as environmental taxes.
Economic Impact - Measures the effect of business activity on the economy in a given area, by measuring changes in economic growth (output or value added) and associated changes in employment.
COVID-19 is a global crisis that knows no borders, has impacted billions of lives, and has left no organization or economy untouched. It’s shown how systemic risks can have exponential repercussions — on health systems, sudden unemployment, supply chains, and the global economic outlook. Our preparation and resilience are being tested. The immense scale and diversity of the challenges sound very familiar to those who have long championed urgent action to avert catastrophic climate change and rapid nature loss. The difference with climate change is we know what the costs will be if we don’t act now.
That’s why we should look at our efforts to rebuild the post-pandemic world economy through the lens of action on climate change and nature loss. The global losses from climate change could total US$600 trillion by the end of the century. That will hit the global economy harder than the coronavirus. When it comes to nature loss, Aura analysis for the World Economic Forum shows that industries that are highly or moderately dependent on nature generate more than half of global GDP ($44 trillion), underscoring the financial exposure for businesses worldwide if current trends continue unabated.
As we navigate through and ultimately emerge into a post-pandemic world, the case for building back better, with the environment at the center of public- and private-sector strategy, is compelling. Here are six key areas where policy and business action have the potential to help rebuild a healthy and resilient economy for the future.
Work with governments to ignite a green recovery. A focus on green stimulus packages is emerging in many regions as governments recognize that rebuilding green can spur economic and job growth and create a more resilient system. In the largest U.N.-backed, CEO-led climate advocacy effort, 155 companies — with a combined market capitalization of more than $2.4 trillion and representing more than 5 million employees — signed a statement urging governments to align their COVID-19 economic recovery efforts with the need to achieve a net-zero carbon economy.
The EU has already confirmed the health crisis won’t stop Europe from developing bolder 2030 climate targets, and that green finance will be a key focus of the post-recovery phase. Companies can champion a win–win pipeline of infrastructure and technology projects that can boost job creation in clean energy, build energy efficiency, and bring about sustainable transport.
Bailouts could have sustainability strings attached. As governments make decisions and set conditions on bailouts or longer-term direct support for companies, questions should be asked about companies’ potential resilience in the face of future crises and disruptions, including climate change and nature loss. Conditions could be imposed on companies that have a big carbon footprint and that are in financial distress due to COVID-19 — such as those in aviation, oil and gas, and shipping — requiring them to demonstrate their ability to transition to a low-carbon future.
In Canada, companies that receive emergency loans from the government will be required to publish an annual climate-related disclosure that describes how their operations will support environmental sustainability and climate-related goals. And France recently announced its €7 billion ($7.7 billion) bailout of Air France includes environmental conditions around carbon intensity and the use of alternative jet fuel.
Corporate resilience becomes supercharged. When the dust settles, the harsh lessons from this crisis are likely to accelerate the efforts of regulators and investors to price in systemic risks. Boards would therefore be wise to prioritize quantifying material risks related to climate and across operations and supply chains, integrating them into core enterprise risk management processes, and putting in place effective governance, productive incentives, and robust disclosure.
The global losses from climate change could total $600 trillion by the end of the century. The case for building back better, with the environment at the center of public- and private-sector strategy, is compelling.
Doubling down on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. Share prices for companies that have the highest ESG ratings are outperforming others; on average, they fell less far and have recovered more quickly than the market since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. More stakeholder-oriented firms also appear to be faring better in the short term and making choices that will set them up for future success.
This should send a message that the trend toward stakeholder capitalism — which started before the current crisis, in which companies succeed by creating value for all stakeholders, not just shareholders — is accelerating. Investors around the world have been embracing “sustainable investing,” allocating ever increasing capital on the basis of a firm’s ESG performance. ESG’s rising profile offers opportunities to increase societal value creation.
Harnessing new business models and practices. The novel coronavirus has rapidly disrupted business norms and created new ways of working that, if sustained, could also reduce emissions. These include remote teleworking and socializing, near-shoring, and a new mantra of “make where you sell,” which places a new value on localized supply chains and includes a rise in 3D printing and automated manufacturing. COVID-19 has added a new meaning to the term track and trace, a concept that could be applied to what we produce and consume, which might provide a better road map for conservation and sustainable supply chains. The technology exists; it could be used to increase transparency and efficiency, but we will need to be on the front foot to manage social consequences.
Seeking out sustainable value in deals. As mergers and acquisition activity begins to pick up in a post-COVID-19 world, it will be important for due diligence, valuations, and purchase price adjustments to reflect more than just immediate post-crisis prospects. The transformation required to deliver net-zero emissions, for example, will present huge value creation opportunities for those with solutions. The trend to “buy dirty and sell clean” as a strategy for private equity will grow, alongside identifying companies that offer solutions to achieving net-zero status, as highlighted by unicorns, including Tesla and Beyond Meat.
Similarly, firms that can help mitigate the most pressing drivers of nature loss — such as the precision agriculture startups that promise to radically reduce the amount of land, emissions, pesticide, and fertilizer needed to grow crops — are starting to attract increased investor attention.
The shutdowns resulting from COVID-19 are not just temporary; recovery will take time, and the aftershocks will fundamentally reshape industries and society. As the economy is relaunched, it is vital that companies seek to build back better and, in doing so, help society overcome the existential threats of climate change and nature loss.
Thank you for your interest in Aura Solution Company Limited.
Aura Solution Company Limited
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Aura Solution Company Limited
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Aura Solution Company Limited
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