In 2016, WWF Netherlands, Metabolic, WWF Switzerland, and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment reviewed over sixty approaches, methodologies, tools, programs and action plans relating to human impacts on planetary limits.The 2016 One Planet Approaches report presented insights from this review and set out eight steps that any organisation could take to scientifically map operational impacts against planetary limits. This was an important first step towards developing a methodology for organisations wishing to design sustainability pathways that respect planetary limits.
This new updated report presents the most important conclusions from the 2016 report in a simplified format, making links to the growing field of science-based targets and illustrating each of the eight steps with real-world examples.Corporate sustainability managers, policymakers and anyone else interested in beginning the journey towards setting science-based targets can use the report as a quick reference guide for implementation or communicating about the topic.
For any organisation or business, setting science-based targets requires thinking in a systemic way. First, we have to consider whether our sustainability goals involve reducing deforestation, combating climate change, or protecting freshwater resources. Then, we need to understand how the planet functions in a whole range of interconnected ways that relate to our goals.
Next, we need to consider how our operations interact with planetary processes, and then quantify these interactions. Following this assessment, we then need to understand what capacity the planet has to absorb the types of impacts our operations have. Finally, we must decide as an organisation or business, what level of impact we are entitled to make.
Clearly, this is a complex challenge. We have designed this guide both to support and inspire you to take these steps with your own company or organisation. We begin by offering some background to the challenge, starting with an examination of the root causes of the current sustainability crisis. and then an exploration of the growing global movement around setting science-based targets.