8 Women with a new vision for Earth

Eva Zabey


The Businesswoman

CEO, Business for Nature

Eva Zabey was doing a master’s degree in environmental management in Lausanne, Switzerland, when a professor’s remark on her thesis sent her career on an unexpected trajectory.

“I realized how pivotal businesses are to conserving and managing nature,” says Zabey, who now works to make business part of the solution to the world’s interconnected environmental crises.

A lifelong nature enthusiast and activist, Zabey now leads Business for Nature – a global business coalition that aims to drive credible business action and policy ambition to achieve a nature-positive economy for all by 2030.

In 2022, for example, the coalition rallied the private sector ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) to make it mandatory for businesses to assess and disclose their nature-related impacts, dependency and risks by 2030.

“Businesses need to prioritize the protection, restoration and sustainable use of nature in all of their decisions, from transforming their direct operations to reshaping entire sector value chains,” Zabey explains.

“They must also play their part in influencing the policy and regulatory environments they operate in and support meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who are the ultimate stewards caring for the ecosystems on which businesses depend.”

Zabey aims to bridge the gap between short-term financial interests and the urgent need to protect and restore nature – a mission she also supported in her previous roles at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), where she worked for 15 years.

Business for Nature works with governments to adopt and implement ambitious nature policies. It supports the involvement of businesses in the development of national biodiversity strategies and action plans, and it develops sector-specific guidance to help companies take action to address nature loss.

The coalition also encourages businesses to develop and publish a nature strategy through “It’s Now for Nature,” a joint global campaign to bring businesses together to act on nature and help build a nature-positive world by 2030.

Zabey emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and fairly rewarding those who protect the world’s natural systems, upon which all economies and societies ultimately depend.

“It is essential to rewrite our global economy’s ‘rulebook’ to enable business and finance to act at the pace science demands,” she concludes.