Welcome to the BBRC website
Steve Gray in hard hat

Company Biodiversity Action plan

Creating a Biodiversity Action Plan: There are many things businesses can do to make a positive contribution to biodiversity. Whatever the approach to engaging with biodiversity, it is important that the initiatives are appropriate for the company size and sector of business and resources available. Central to a successful Company Biodiversity Action Plan (CBAP) are achievable goals. This may mean a phased approach, starting with some of the activities which are less demanding in terms of resources and specialist expertise, and gradually expanding the programme over a number of years. A successful CBAP is not simply a matter of making resources available; companies which have made significant achievements have a commitment to biodiversity at senior management level; an individual champion at "ground level" to drive the strategy through the implementation phase and have involved their stakeholders in the CBAP process.

Stage 1: Assess your impacts

The first stage in developing a CBAP is to assess the risks and impacts associated with biodiversity. For your landholdings the initial step involves an ecological survey to establish what habitats and species of plants, animals, insects and birds you have on your site. Other impacts may be more indirect including those related to your supply chain, pollution affecting ecosystems outside of your ownership and impacts of your products and services. A full analysis of your impacts will be necessary to identify the key areas to address in the company BAP.

Stage 2: Prioritisation

Companies need to assess their risks and impacts on biodiversity and prioritise their actions. If the major risks are on sites owned by the company then different sites of a company may be ranked to help prioritise biodiversity action planning and management within a Group. A phased approach to implementing site BAPs may help to spread resource requirements across a number of sites.

ICI for example have prioritised which sites will have ecological surveys by area (all sites over 10 hectares will be surveyed) and by proximity to biodiversity sensitive regions. BP have prioritised site actions by mapping where their operations overlap with the 25 global “Biodiversity Hotspots” which Conservation International have recognised.

Stage 3: Management schedule and monitoring programme

Having identified the main impacts the keystone of the Action Plan will be a management schedule that details the appropriate actions and a monitoring programme to enable the effects on biodiversity to be assessed and the Action Plan reviewed. See the Monitoring and Reporting page for more information.

On company land, monitoring can be undertaken by staff who are interested in getting involved in biodiversity initiatives. Data collected from your sites should be fed into your environmental management system.

Stage 4: Targets and performance indicators

Setting realistic targets for the implementation of your CBAP is key to its success. A phased approach can be adopted, starting with the highest ranking priorities and bringing more targets in as resources permit.

Ideally, you will want to be able to demonstrate that your BAP is having a positive affect on the biodiversity it aims to conserve. For some issues, progress may be easily measurable using a performance indicator. If you have a well-designed management schedule, the extent to which the targets are met will be the best measure of performance.

Stage 5: Monitor, review and report

Your BAP should be reviewed on a regular basis. Are targets being achieved? Could more issues be addressed in the BAP? Could more be done involve staff? Is your BAP fully integrated with the Local BAP and UKBAP? The review may lead to changes to the management schedule and monitoring programme (ie feeds back into Stage 3). Modifications to this schedule may result in an adjustment to targets and performance indicators (Stage 4).

Communicating company biodiversity initiatives to staff and external stakeholders is an essential component of the BAP. This may take the form of a simple email, an article in your staff newspaper or on your website, a section in your existing Sustainability Report or a separate Biodiversity Report. You can use the Case Studies page to tell the rest of the business community what you are doing for biodiversity. Email information to bbrc@earthwatch.org.uk. For more information on monitoring and reporting visit the monitoring and reporting page.

Photo credit: Jo Zaremba

All the latest BBRC news
Please contact us for further details
Detailed search of the BBRC site