KPMG launches support initiative for nature positive start-ups

21 April 2022 3 min. read
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A new initiative will see four environment-focused start-ups share in $200,000 worth of consulting support from KPMG, with the most potentially impactful venture to also receive $100,000 in cash.

Professional services firm KPMG has launched a new ESG initiative aimed at supporting efforts to tackle nature and biodiversity challenges, with four selected start-ups working in areas such as reforestation, conservation, and carbon removal to receive consulting, tax or accounting assistance for their scale-up journeys.

The venture deemed the one with the most potential to scale and make an impact will also receive a $100,000 prize.

KPMG launches support initiative for nature positive start-ups

“We are proudly launching our inaugural Nature Positive Challenge to recognise the importance of shaping a nature-positive future, and support Australia’s burgeoning impact economy,” said KPMG CEO Australia Andrew Yates. “This challenge represents the start of a significant long-term investment by the firm to support positive environmental outcomes based on regeneration, resilience and resource circularity.”

KPMG is seeking expressions of interest from start-ups with market-ready solutions or technology with the “unambiguous intention” to protect and restore ecosystems, halt biodiversity loss, or improve resilience to the impacts of climate change. Submissions are due before the end of April, with the four ventures selected in May to share in a tailored service pool valued at $200,000. The no-strings-attached prize will be awarded in June.

Carolin Leeshaa, KPMG’s global lead for Natural Capital & Biodiversity, said that the initiative provides a platform for collaborative action to embrace nature as an opportunity. “Our economies, livelihoods and well-being all depend on nature. If we take time to get the question right, the imperative is very clear: we need to grow within the limits of the earth’s biosphere and catalyse the systemic shift required to grow in harmony with nature.”

In addition to the pro bono support and prize on offer, the participating ventures will also be connected to partners in industry, business, science and the community, as well as impact investors. KPMG will host a pitch event in June, along with a ‘Nature Positive’ showcase in August featuring all four ventures. The firm says that its Nature Positive Challenge forms part of its own Climate Action Plan, which includes its commitment to carbon neutrality.

The launch of the initiative also coincides with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures’ recently released beta framework for incorporating nature-related risk and opportunity analysis into the heart of corporate and financial decision-making. Leeshaa, who will serve as a judge for the challenge, is one of the organisation’s 34 global taskforce members, alongside Deloitte Australia’s biodiversity & natural capital director Guy Williams.

The TNFD (which along with KPMG features Oliver Wyman, Accenture, RSM and the other Big Four firms among its institutional members) notes a WEF study in conducted in collaboration with PwC which determined that half of the world’s economic output ($44 trillion) is dependent on nature. On the flip side, transitioning to a nature-positive economy could generate an estimated 400 million new jobs and $10 trillion in annual business value.