Define, align & close data gaps: lessons and recommendations from the first pilot test of the TNFD framework

Publication / 25 Jul 2022

Our new report sets out findings from the world’s first sector-specific pilot test of the TNFD’s beta framework. It provides recommendations for future development of the framework for nature-related risk and opportunity assessment and disclosure.

As a TNFD Piloting Partner, Global Canopy is responding to the call from the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) for pilot testing of its beta framework for nature-related risk and opportunity assessment and disclosures, following the release of v0.1 in March this year and the release of v0.2 in June.

Co-convened by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Global Canopy, the first official pilot test of v0.1 of the TNFD framework included ten organisations (six financial institutions and four corporations) that either operate within, or provide finance to, palm oil supply chains. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) also provided technical input. With its high nature-related risk exposure and relatively mature sustainability and risk reporting, organisations in the palm oil sector are particularly well-placed to provide early insights relevant for the development of the TNFD framework.

Four key recommendations for TNFD

The report ‘Piloting the TNFD beta framework in the palm oil sector‘ summarises current practices and challenges of assessing, measuring and disclosing nature-related risks and opportunities in the palm oil sector, and sets out key recommendations for the TNFD to consider when developing its framework further:

  • Provide additional clarity for select definitions
    Pilot participants considered the scope of nature in the TNFD to be clear overall, but they highlighted the need for a greater distinction between the terms ‘biodiversity’ and ‘nature’, since many organisations often refer to ‘biodiversity’ rather than ‘nature’ at the moment. To help different stakeholders interpret the TNFD recommendations across various contexts, TNFD could also expand on other listed definitions and provide accompanying examples.
  • Provide additional clarity on assessment boundaries
    Organisations across different contexts will be at different stages in their own assessment, measurement and disclosure journeys. Pilot testers therefore proposed TNFD provides greater clarity on scope and staging through for example use cases and roadmaps for initial and subsequent reporting.
  • Provide clarity on how TNFD aligns with existing practices for assessing, measuring and disclosing nature-related risks and opportunities
    Over recent decades, significant work has already taken place in the palm oil sector to determine organisations’ nature-related risks and opportunities. These include for example, High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments. Greater clarity on how current assessment practices fit with the TNFD framework will help improve practicality and market uptake.
  • Provide guidance on how to respond to data gaps, especially for location-specific data.
    Location-specific risk assessments and disclosures is a central feature of the TNFD framework, but regulatory barriers and challenges around traceability can make it difficult for organisations to determine the exact location of assets, especially when considering their wider value chain. TNFD should provide further guidance on how to respond to these data gaps, for example by providing proxies, as well as recommended data sources for organisations to use.

Alongside the pilot testing, Global Canopy commissioned three bespoke research pieces on integrating social and human rights considerations, transition pathways for nature-related financial risks and opportunities, and the alignment between current reporting practices and the TNFD beta framework, all focusing on the palm oil sector. Key takeaways from each research project is included in the summary report ‘Piloting the TNFD beta framework in the palm oil sector’. The full findings from each bespoke research project are now available here.

Help pilot the TNFD framework

Extensive pilot testing of the TNFD beta framework will help ensure the final framework, planned for release in September 2023, can be impactful, globally inclusive and serve its intended purpose: to support organisations to report and act on nature-related risks and opportunities in practice, and ultimately contribute to a shift in finance from nature-negative to nature-positive outcomes.

TNFD is inviting pilot testing to continue until June 2023 across a range of sectors and Global Canopy will undertake several more pilot tests in a range of sectors and geographies.

To learn more about how to get involved in piloting of the TNFD beta framework, visit

[updated August 22]

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