Does Business Impact on Biodiversity?
All companies can have an impact on biodiversity in the course of
their business - because they use natural resources, produce or
consume products, own and manage areas of land, or finance other
activities which have direct and indirect impacts.
Biodiversity is recognised as being key in ensuring a stable environment
for businesses to operate in.
Activities detrimental to biodiversity include:
- using products from species which are over-harvested;
- planting or accidentally introducing exotic, non-native species
on land-holdings, displacing native species;
- over-use of water, which deprives local ecosystems;
- building, development or sudden changes in land-use which
destroy biodiversity-rich habitats or reduce the variety of local
Activities which can have a positive impact on biodiversity
- management of landholdings in a way which is sensitive to biodiversity;
- sourcing supplies from sustainable sources;
- release of employees to work on local biodiversity conservation
- influencing stakeholders, such as suppliers, customers or employees,
to consider biodiversity;
- putting financial support into biodiversity conservation
Policy-level recognition of a company's responsibility to biodiversity
demonstrates, both to people outside and to employees, that the
company is taking biodiversity seriously. It sets the scene for
the company to deal with biodiversity strategically, across its
whole operation, by integrating biodiversity issues into existing
environmental management or sustainability strategies. Biodiversity
is critical for most businesses - either because their processes
require biological materials or because a healthy and stable environment
is an integral part of the operation.
Photo Credit: Peter Wakely/ English Nature