Skoog’s first Breakfast seminar: Investing in Nature

On Monday 15th of May 2023, Skoog held its first of a series of seminars, a breakfast seminar, at the charming and authentic venue of Initiatives of Change in Oslo. It was a beautiful and sunny day and we served croissant, coffee, and instead of pancakes, some “panacea”! Panacea (Greek) is “the remedy for all ills”:

So, in a world grappling with multiple existential crises, envision a single, groundbreaking approach capable of effectively tackling a range of pressing issues. Imagine a solution that transcends climate change, biodiversity loss, impact of natural disasters, decline of health, urban vulnerability, food scarcity, water polution, degraded soil, etc. Now, imagine this solution to not only demonstrate superior resilience but also to be more cost-effective than conventional methods. Does it sound too good to be true? Let us introduce:

Nature-Based Solution

Nature-based solutions (NBS) harness the innate power of natural systems, drawing upon their inherent resilience and functionality. Rooted in scientific principles, this approach offers unparalleled efficacy, sustainability, and adaptability. By strategically leveraging and mimicking nature’s wisdom, we can create holistic and innovative solutions to address our most pressing environmental and societal concerns.

From restoring ecosystems and preserving biodiversity to mitigating climate change and enhancing water resource management, Nature-Based Solutions offer a comprehensive toolkit. They provide a cost-effective and scientifically proven alternative to conventional approaches, delivering superior outcomes while fostering long-term sustainability. According to WEF, NatureTech refers to technologies that enable, scale and accelerate such solutions.

In our seminar, a group of experts coming from various domains presented this solution as an emerging paradigm that holds tremendous promise in revolutionising our approach these challenges.

First of all, Paul White from Nordlys Studio set the stage by his initial opening. He pointed out that $44 trillion of economic value generation – over half the world’s total GDP – is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services, and that nature loss matters for most businesses – through impacts on operations, supply chains, and markets.

Sebastian Vonen Skaugvoll from McKinsey presented a rigorous report on how the economic activity is pushing Earth beyond the safe operating boundaries: Nature in the Balance.

From EY, Ingrid Erichsen and James Highham presented showed how due to upcoming regulations actions are accelerating quickly in this space.

Then, Skoog’s Nima Darabi spoke about the rise of NatureTech, the holistic nature of this domain and showcased examples on how Skoog is using technology to scale the adoption of these solutions, and why there is a need for a hub in Oslo for start-ups, innovators, investors, and corporations that are and will be active in this area.

At last, Augusto Andrade, our CEO, Andreas Slettvoll, the CEO of Chooose and Sam Selig from the impact investment VC, Katapult, talked about Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and science-based targets (SBTi) for net-zero. It was mentioned that driven by consumer activism and increasing scrutiny from investors, companies are taking actions to understand their impact on climate and nature.

Augusto highlighted that we need to move from the last decade of scientific debates about climate change to what is dubbed as the decade of action, but governments and companies are looking at each other and the action remains insufficient. He mentioned that those companies that innovate in this space are now looking for help.

As the presence of eminent consultancies such as EY and McKinsey in the room approves of this, we know that the magnitude and urgency of the challenge is making climate the biggest and hottest category in VC.

Investing in nature is now a corporate topic: One example is Shell acquiring significant stake on Brazilian carbon develop Carbonext and starting a nature-based division to secure access to cost-effective carbon solutions from nature.

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