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GOAL FF08 | Business activities

Operations do not encroach on ecosystems or communities

A Future-Fit Business preserves the health of all areas of high biological, ecological, social or cultural value – both by protecting them where the company is already active, and by avoiding further expansion into new areas if degradation is possible.

What this goal means

Growing demand for land is putting pressure on ecosystems, communities and plant and animal species. Companies that do not adequately consider the impacts of their physical presence may cause irreversible degradation to natural processes and resources that they and others rely on, and may undermine the wellbeing of local communities. The purpose of this goal is to eliminate the negative impacts of business on natural ecosystems and communities.

To be Future-Fit a company must:

  1. Protect such areas where it is already present;
  2. Take steps to avoid or mitigate negative outcomes when moving into new areas.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Respecting the land rights of communities (e.g. zero tolerance on land grabbing).
  • Protecting aquatic ecosystems from degradation (e.g. avoiding coral reefs).
  • Protecting areas of high biodiversity value (e.g. no clearing of rainforest for farm land).
  • Not encroaching on areas of sacred importance to indigenous peoples (e.g. oil pipelines near bodies of water key to indigenous populations).

Why this goal is needed...

The biggest cause of forest loss – accounting for around 70% – is agricultural deforestation.

This loss is commercially driven, notably for beef, soy, palm oil and timber. Soy ranks as the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation after cattle products.

It's not just land that is vital to protect.

Globally, some 275 million people live within 30km of a reef, forming the end of an extensive food chain that begins in the crevices of the coral reefs. Even though they occupy a modest 0.2% of marine surface area, reefs provide food and shelter to around a third of marine species.

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