Author: Deborah Kenley, Senior Coordinator, Green Corporate Grounds, Credit Valley Conservation
Nature-related investments are one of the fastest-growing environmental, social, and corporate governance priorities — and for good reason. While the world’s been focused on rising temperatures, a critical decline in nature and biodiversity has also been underway. According to a recent United Nations report titled “Nature’s Dangerous Decline”, nature is disappearing at unprecedented rates, and less nature means more CO2 emissions, creating a vicious and destructive cycle.
Consensus is now building around the urgency of this threat and the need for immediate action. In December, roughly 190 countries, including Canada, committed to an ambitious global framework for managing nature through 2030.
The good news is, when it comes to protecting and restoring nature, even small, localized actions can produce meaningful results. More and more business leaders are recognizing the positive impact an investment in nature can have on their organizations, their surrounding communities, and their sustainable development goals.
The city of Mississauga is supporting some of these investments by reimbursing up to 50% of a business’ stormwater charge if they install nature-based solutions to manage stormwater runoff.
Here are a few science-backed ways to invest in nature:
Plant a Tree (or Fifty)
Trees are carbon dioxide vacuums that bring balance to ecosystems and provide shelter for wildlife. Planting trees is a rewarding and easy way to improve the local environment.
Support the Birds and the Bees
The world’s food supply depends on pollinators like birds and bees, and both populations are declining at an alarming rate. Consider adding a native pollinator garden on your property to help support and protect these important creatures.
Retrofit Your Parking Lot
When rain falls on hard surfaces like pavement, the water runs off into a sewer instead of being absorbed into the ground. On its way to the sewer, it picks up contaminants like car oil and pesticides, eventually polluting our rivers and lakes. Retrofitting your parking lot with a porous pavement alternative — or replacing paved surfaces with greenspace — can substantially reduce your environmental impact (and your stormwater charge!)
Build a Green or Blue Roof
Rooftop gardens or water storage systems are designed to capture and slow the flow of rainwater before it becomes harmful runoff. This is another a great way to reduce your stormwater charge. Low-rise green roofs can also provide food for pollinators and birds.
Ready to invest nature and reduce your stormwater charge? Credit Valley Conservation is offering businesses a free sustainable landscaping assessment and action plan through its Greening Corporate Grounds program.