NRM Regions Australia (NRMRA) is leading a project that is working to increase the number of partnerships between NRM regional organisations and agricultural industries. The purpose of the project is to understand and improve partnerships with agricultural industries to identify links between sustainability and market access. NRM RA, and regional NRM organisations, are seeking to establish and strengthen the role they play in sustainability frameworks, industry partnerships and farmer groups. The project also includes the development of Communities of Practice, catalysing partnerships between NRM Regions and agricultural industries/companies and examining how NRM Regional Planning may align with sustainability indicators.

The case studies and reports listed below have been developed by NRMRA to  showcase the partnerships that have already been developed, what has made them successful and how they interact with industry sustainability reporting or requirements.

The NRM and Industry Partnership project is funded by the Australian Government’s Building Landcare Community and Capacity (Smart Farms) program.

THE NRM AND INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS DESKTOP STUDY

Cathy Phelps and Gillian Hayman, C&J Phelps Consulting, June 2021

This study informs other components of the NRM and industry partnerships project and NRM RA activities (such as the communities of practice), and provides material that can be used to inform and encourage NRM and industry partnerships. It draws on the 20 case studies listed below that cover existing and recent sustainable agriculture partnerships between NRM regions and industry stakeholders. Industry stakeholders include peak industry councils, producer groups, research and development corporations, agribusiness, processors, agriculture consultancies and individual producers.

SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING AND AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURE STUDY

ESG, Agriculture Sustainability Frameworks, Natural Capital, SDGs and Net Zero – Trends in sustainability reporting. Cathy Phelps, Principal, C&J Phelps Consulting, June 2021

This report provides an overview of company and industry sustainability reporting trends and how they may impact the role of Regional NRM bodies. The information provided in the report is a snapshot in time. Sustainability reporting is rapidly evolving as companies and industries respond to changing customer, government, and investor expectations.
Sustainability or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting is rapidly being adopted by all major corporations including food and drink companies and retailers. To meet their sustainability reporting commitments companies and investors are seeking transparent information about how their suppliers are managing their natural capital and climate risk.
The report covers three different approaches to sustainability reporting being implemented in Australia. These are:
• Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting
• Agriculture Sustainability Frameworks
• Natural Capital Accounting.

PARTNERSHIP CASE STUDIES

The selected case studies represent a wide range of industries, geographic location, and scale. They highlight the breadth, quality and variety of partnerships being implemented by NRM organisations in partnership with industry across Australia.

The case studies were analysed to identify common partnership attributes, drivers, and processes with the aim of identifying mechanisms that could be implemented to increase the number of partnerships between NRM regional organisations and agricultural industries.

The information from these will be used to develop a ‘how to’ partnership guide and a summary brochure to promote NRM’s multiple roles and value in industry partnerships.