Where soils belong in the boardroom

Today (December 5th) is World Soil Day. Businesses are built on soil. That’s because soils underpin value chains by supporting crop productivity, biodiversity and livelihoods and they play a crucial role in two of the top business risks: water crises and climate change. If we are to have sustainable businesses, economies and societies, they will, and can only be built on healthy soils.

The science is clear and the economic case strong: soil health is the foundation of our food system, it boosts the resilience of farms and supply chains to the effects of increased climate variability. Increasingly we are realizing that healthy soils have a critical role to play as a natural carbon sink if we want to meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets. The global potential for the cumulative increase in carbon stocks over 20–50 years could offset about one-quarter of the annual increase in global CO2 emissions.

Currently, soils are being rapidly degraded which affects crops, livelihoods, water pollution. Ecosystem collapse will be felt by farmers, foresters, communities and businesses. Regenerative practices in support of soil health are critical for maximizing both agricultural production, resilience and climate change mitigation. It’s clear that soils belong in the boardroom and on the balance sheet – they present risks and returns for every business.

The business case for investing in soil health

Read more from WBCSD in its latest report ‘The Business Case for Investing in Soil’.

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