New initiative aims to bring together parties across the nature-related data landscape to respond to gaps and challenges.
The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has launched a ‘data catalyst’ initiative which aims to provide high-quality, trusted and decision-useful data on nature-related risks and opportunities to investors.
The programme is a response to the gaps and challenges highlighted in TNFD’s Data Landscape Discussion Paper, published in March 2022 as part of the v0.1 beta release of the TNFD Framework, which has since been updated in its v0.2 beta release.
The TNFD will use a series of workshops in which participants will identify issues and shortcomings in the framework’s currently proposed nature-related data and analytics. Participants will also create recommendations for ways to accelerate the development of and access to nature-related tools, data and analytics.
The workshops will convene key actors around a common objective for data on nature-related risks and opportunities. This includes both supporting the development of new tools and platforms and improving existing tools and platforms.
TNFD’s overall aim for the scheme is to “establish a baseline for data relevance and credibility”, identify areas for innovation where required to address gaps and overcome challenges and encourage partnerships where appropriate, aiding in unlocking data and analytics enabling greater access to nature-related data.
One of the key constraints on the TNFD framework up to this point is the lack of data available, as nature-related disclosures by companies are currently made on a voluntary basis. While the TNFD will not be making disclosures mandatory, the body says its set of practical recommendations and guidance is receiving interest from regulators and policy makers which could turn them from voluntary market practice into mandated disclosure requirements.
Through this data catalyst exercise, the TNFD aims to progress discussions around centralising nature-related data, addressing technical challenges to data access, ultimately attempting to build a network for best practice for nature-related disclosures.
The TNFD’s second beta version builds upon the first version and 500 pieces of feedback on it, outlining the TNFD’s approach to metrics and targets through a draft architecture and an illustrative set of assessment metrics.
It also included guidance on identifying priority locations as part of TNFD’s LEAP approach, supporting internal, nature-related risk and opportunity assessments in preparation for using the framework, as well as additional guidance assisting market participants wishing to start pilot testing.
Who needs to answer the call?
The TNFD is calling on existing analytics, workflow tools and sustainability data providers to join the data catalyst, through which participants will develop their internal understanding of the TNFD’s beta framework.
According to the TNFD, participation will also help their understanding of current and potential contributions to the nature-related data required to apply the TNFD framework. It will also assist the TNFD in ensuring its disclosure implementation and framework for nature-related risk and opportunity assessment is practical for market participants.
Criteria for participants to join the data catalyst includes being a member of, or being in the process of joining, the TNFD forum, being an existing provider or early-stage start-up of data, analytics, or workflow tools, demonstrating a willingness to collaborate within the catalyst for the greater good in the eyes of the TNFD and showing willingness to volunteer time and resource in the form contribution to pilots, case studies, feedback on beta versions of TNFD framework, amongst other.
The ultimate aim of this data catalyst is to improve the ease, speed, and scale of adoption of the TNFD framework, once the Taskforce launches their final recommendations in September 2023.
There are due to be two further beta drafts to be launched in October 2022 and February 2023 ahead of the final framework’s planned publication in September 2023.