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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on monitoring and reporting visit the monitoring
and reporting page.
Photo credit: Jo Zaremba