Biodiversity is part of Responsible Business Conduct. A multitude of tools and techniques has emerged in recent years to predict, measure, or report on human impacts on the environment. Examples are environmental impact assessment, audits, sustainability reporting, certification, etc. These instruments have been developed for different purposes with different procedures, methods and techniques. Even though biodiversity is receiving increased attention, the topic is often considered as ‘difficult’.
All companies depend on and impact on biodiversity through the use of land and resources, emissions of hazardous substances or production of waste. A loss of biodiversity and a loss of ecosystem services may affect operational costs, market access and a company's license to operate. Managing these dependencies and impacts on biodiversity is therefore key, not only from a risk management point of view, but also from the viewpoint of business strategy.
In its most simple definition, biodiversity is the variability among living organisms. It encompasses pristine natural areas (land & sea), natural areas exploited by humans, and man-made production landscapes such as agricultural land, and it includes life in cities. The main threats to global biodiversity are associated with human activities. Land conversion or fragmentation, introduction of invasive species, pollution and climate change are disrupting the world’s ecosystems and lead to local or global loss of animal and plant species.
Even though biodiversity is receiving increased attention, and a multitude of tools and techniques have emerged in recent years to predict, measure and report on human impacts of the environment, the topic is often considered as ‘difficult’.
RBA has developed a Biodiversity Assessment Framework, translating the internationally agreed U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity into a simple step wise approach. The framework contains an Opportunities and Constraints Analysis for planning of new activities, and an impact analysis for existing activities. The framework allows for benchmarking and improvement of existing tools and instruments.
Biodiversity convention and biodiversity speak
In 1992 the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was established in 1992. Over 190 countries are members of the Convention that provides the most broadly accepted concepts, definitions and approaches with respect to biodiversity. Its objectives are to (i) conserve biodiversity, (ii) to use biodiversity sustainable, and (iii) to equitably share the benefits obtained from genetic resources. One can easily recognise the ‘people, planet, profit’ motto often used in the responsible business community.
Biodiversity: the variability among living organisms, including diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity) and of ecosystems (ecosystem diversity);
Ecosystem: a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment, interacting as a functional unit;
Ecosystem services: the benefits (products and services) people obtain from ecosystems;
Natural capital: the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things.
Contact us for more information!
RBA Business & Biodiversity Services
We assist companies and investors securing biodiversity in the following ways:
Assessment of impacts and dependencies on Natural Capital and development of Natural Capital strategies
Biodiversity-inclusive environmental impact assessment (EIA & SEA)
Capacity building on Business & Biodiversity / Natural Capital
Organising cooperation, coalitions and public private partnerships between companies, civil society organisations and government in the field of Biodiversity and Natural Capital
Development of companies’ and governments’ sustainable procurement and sourcing strategies. Sustainable sourcing and international supply chain
Biodiversity and Natural capital related Labelling & Certification, and Sustainability Reporting. Biodiversity related EU market access requirements. Circular economy, and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)