Nature Day In Review

Last week Svarmi and Festa - Center For Sustainability held Nature Day in Iceland, an event which brought together over 80 professionals from a wide spectrum of businesses ranging from the energy to financial to climate tech sectors to discuss the intersection of business and nature at Hús Atvinnulífsins in Reykjavík.

More than half of the world's economic value generation is moderately or highly dependent on nature and yet many companies have reported feeling overwhelmed when it comes to measuring their impact on nature. With new standards and frameworks coming into place this year such as the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), we felt it was important to hold an event where Icelandic industry leaders could hear directly from experts on the subjects of sustainability reporting and nature data, and to share existing ideas and best practices.

Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation sharing her closing remarks after the morning session

We were honored to be joined by Elva Rakel Jónsdóttir, CEO of Festa who opened Nature Day and who moderated the event, and by Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation who shared her thoughts on the necessity of innovation when solving the problems we face such as nature deterioration.

We were also able to share best practices by hearing from our wide range of speakers from various business sectors as to how they are considering their impact on nature and preparing for mandatory disclosures:

  • Tinna Hallgrímsdóttir, Climate Risk and Sustainability Specialist at the Central Bank of Iceland gave a talk about the impact of nature related risks on the financial market. She made a strong impression on the importance of systemic change and highlighted ongoing work of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) in that regard. 
  • Magnea Magnúsdóttir, Environmental Restoration Manager from Orka Náttúrunnar discussed ON´s ongoing work to restore vegetation after all projects and in the vicinity of their power plants. One of ON’s methods is to store topsoil and vegetation while projects are conducted and then restore it afterwards.
  • Ingibjörg Jónsdóttir, Certification Project Manager at Yggdrasill Carbon discussed how we can ensure climate and nature action remains sustainable and steps they are taking to take biodiversity and climate adaptation into account when designing and implementing nature restoration & climate mitigation projects.
  • Ásrún Elmarsdóttir of Landsvirkjun discussed the next steps the company will take towards complying with the ESRS regarding biodiversity and ecosystems. Landsvirkjun has recently changed their climate- and environmental policy to specifically state their commitment to protect biodiversity.  
James d’Ath speaking on the TNFD’s final recommendations

The highlight of Nature Day was hearing from our keynote speaker James d’Ath from the Taskforce for Nature Related Financial Disclosures. James has been leading the TNFD's collaboration efforts across corporates and financial institutions together with providers of data & tools to support the assessment and disclosure of nature-related risks & opportunities. Svarmi has long championed the TNFD as a crucial framework under which companies can begin to understand and report on their influence on nature, and it was great to hear directly from James as he presented the TNFD’s final recommendations and answered audience questions.

On behalf of the Svarmi team, we would like to sincerely thank our event co-host, Festa, our speakers and all our attendees for such a lively and thought provoking session.