The Bristol Avon Catchment Market – helping businesses achieve their environmental goals

Nature needs our help

The Dasgupta Review emphasised the need for a new approach to engaging with our natural environment in order to reverse nature’s decline and make the transition to a sustainable economy.

In particular, our economic systems fail to recognise that our goods and services are wholly dependent on the environmental services that nature provides.

The Green Finance Institute has estimated there is a gap of at least £44 billion to meet UK environmental goals by 2030 . This gap cannot be met through public funding alone.

To put it plainly – tackling the environmental crisis before us depends on significantly increasing private investment in nature.

Businesses are under increasing pressure to act on climate and nature’s recovery

UK Governments have set the expectation that businesses need to play their part in reversing nature’s decline and supporting the transition to net zero.

Regulatory and planning requirements now range from mandatory disclosure, through to requiring active investment in nature to address the negative impacts of business activities.

In addition, savvy businesses know that the regulatory environment isn’t the only reason to act more sustainably.

Consumers and employees are also expecting more from the businesses they buy from and work for. For example, over half of UK workers believe that sustainability is important when choosing a company to work for.

Where there’s a will, there’s not always a clear way

Even for businesses that have clear sustainability goals, it can be difficult to know what action to take. While there has been a lot of work within organisations to get a handle on understanding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, taking action to improve nature is relatively new, and business capacity to drive this is at an early stage of development.

The role of nature-based solutions

There is a lot of interest in working with nature to address the challenges of tackling biodiversity loss, mitigating against floods, reducing pollution, and addressing climate change.

Nature-based projects, such as woodlands and wetlands, provide a way to provide ongoing environmental improvements while also supplying farmers with a sustainable revenue stream.

The Bristol Avon Catchment Market is providing ethical businesses with a better way to meet their environmental goals.

Avon Wildlife Trust, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and EnTrade have jointly developed a high-integrity way of supplying environmental services from nature.

The Bristol Avon Catchment Market provides smart businesses with a credible pathway to make a meaningful contribution to nature’s recovery.

It provides an online marketplace where:

farmers sell environmental projects such as new wetlands, woodlands and grasslands; and

businesses purchase credits for the environmental services delivered by these projects, such as carbon sequestration or nutrient mitigation.

This market is demonstrating a new approach as it has been designed so that multiple buyers of different environmental services can meet their needs through a single market process.

EnTrade oversees the operation of the market to ensure that the market process is fair and independent for buyers and sellers.

The Avon and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts are using their local knowledge and scientific expertise to work with farmers to develop projects in strategic locations to maximise environmental benefits.

The high standards, depth of experience and local knowledge of the Avon and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts will ensure that all environmental projects are well designed, independently verified and expertly maintained.

Projects will be accredited against approved standards using up-to-date metrics so that buyers can be confident that the credits will be accepted by relevant authorities.

The market settlement process has been designed in collaboration with experts from Exeter University to ensure fair payments for both buyers and sellers, with any surplus shared equitably between participants.

Businesses must meet the required ethical standards in order to participate in the market. This includes a commitment to use credits purchased through the Bristol Avon Catchment Market to drive genuine environmental improvements.

Taking the next step is easy

The Bristol Avon Catchment Market Team would like to understand the environmental goals of your business and is available to work with you to help quantify your environmental credit needs.

There is currently an open Expression of Interest process – which is straightforward and non-binding. This process is an important step in learning more about how the Bristol Avon Catchment Market can help you meet your environmental goals. The EOI process closes Monday 20th June.

For more information, please visit

Our team is also available at and would be happy to organise a follow-up call to answer your questions about the market.