Business Eligibility Criteria

Date of posting: 09/12/2023

To meet eligibility criteria all participating businesses must:

a) be a UK registered company (Tax Identification / VAT Registration / Company Registration Number will be required / verified); and

b) confirm that they want to fund projects in addition to, and not instead of, actions which reduce carbon emissions, or any negative nature impacts of their operations and supply chains; and

c) deliver on at least 3 examples of environmental leadership set out below to demonstrate the steps they are taking towards assessing and addressing their impacts on the natural environment.

Examples of accepted demonstration of environmental leadership for big, medium and small business:

Big Business

Definition: A big or large business is any organisation that has 250 employees or more

1. Publication of a credible net zero and/or nature strategy that outlines how they plan to assess and reduce any negative impacts on the natural environment in their operations and supply chains.

2. Commitment to implementing an internationally recognised environmental impact disclosures regime, such as:

• the recommendations produced by the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). Ideally, participation in the TNFD piloting.  

• the framework produced by the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Ideally, participation in the TCFD forum. For companies over 500 employees, TCFD is mandatory and therefore cannot be used to demonstrate eligibility.  

• The Climate Disclosures Programme: including adopting the new biodiversity reporting questions

• Reporting business impacts through reputable frameworks such as the Capitals Coalition, Natural Capital Protocol or the Climate Disclosure Standards Board which now includes biodiversity guidance. Companies should report progress against their targets in quantitative terms.

3. Achievement of a nationally or internationally recognised accreditation, such as BCorp certification and/or ISO standards such as 14001. 

4. Engagement with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and/or the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) and commitment to setting out company climate and nature targets

5. Membership of Race to Zero, which requires members to publish a plan of how they plan to meet net zero: nature and biodiversity should feature as part of this plan. As in the Race to Zero guidance, carbon reduction should be prioritised over offsetting; any offsetting necessary must be nature friendly. Adherence to international sustainability standards and frameworks, ensuring investment and other portfolios, supply chains and operations are deforestation-free, sustainable and do not fund the destruction of nature. 

6. Taking other, independently verified, climate action, such as involvement in the We Mean Business Coalition, or use of CDP Company ratings.

7. Membership of a nature and climate-focused business group, such as Aldersgate Group, Broadway Initiative, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Business for Nature, UK Business and Biodiversity Forum or Business in the Community.   


Definition: an SME is any organisation that has fewer than 250 employees

You must demonstrate a plan for how you are taking, or will take, at least 3 ‘no-regrets actions’ for nature. For example:

1. Adherence to a recognised industry sustainability standard and framework, such as ISO14001.

2. Commitment to monitor, report and reduce environmental impacts of your business.

3. Participating in a climate- or sustainability-focused group for businesses in your sector to network and educate yourself and others on best practice in your industry – for example, WRAPEnvironmental Industries Commission Nature and Biodiversity Forum.

4. Switching to reusable or recyclable materials.

5. Reducing all waste types across the business’ practices and incorporating circular economy principles.

6. Reducing water use across operations – example guidance on water stress reduction.

7. Reducing chemical or nutrient pollution across supply chains and operations.

8. Supporting nature recovery and creation or restoration of wildlife-rich green or blue spaces in cities and urban areas.

9. Planning to assess and reduce your nature impacts by changing your operations and supply chains.

10. Taking steps to educate your customers to drive positive citizen behaviour change for the benefit of nature and the climate.

11. Taking active steps to reduce emissions across production, procurement and sale of goods and services.

Examples for plastics sector:

• Setting clear and ambitious plastic reduction targets, especially to eliminate single-use plastics across containers, bags, wrapping, packaging and more.

• Signing the UK Plastics Pact.

• Adopting a circular economy approach.

• Adopting reuse and refill principles.

• Eliminating problem plastics from use.

• Designing for reuse and recyclability.

Examples for food sector:

• Applying the food waste hierarchy.

• Following the UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.

• Educating your customers to drive positive citizen behaviour change on seasonality, sustainability, food waste reduction and more.

• Supporting industry campaigns to drive and accelerate positive change in sustainability and waste reduction.

• Tackling food waste in partnership with suppliers.

• Participating in food redistribution. 

• Only sourcing fish which is certified as sustainable.

• Driving sustainable sourcing practices across key agricultural and forest commodities, especially across products which drive deforestation, by only supporting and buying from growers sustainably producing or vendors sustainably sourcing palm oil, coffee, timber and wood fibre, beef leather, cocoa, pulp and paper, rubber, soy and soy alternatives.