Understand Why

This step helps you establish why biodiversity matters for your business.

Increasingly, biodiversity is being recognised internationally and nationally as a key part of the sustainable development agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prioritise the connection between environment and development by integrating sustainability in all 17 SDGs. More specifically, SDG 14 “life below water” and SDG 15 “life on land” make biodiversity a top priority on the international development agenda. Healthy ecosystems are thus recognised as being at the foundation of poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Biodiversity produces a wide variety of services on which businesses depend. Examples include crop pollination, water filtration, flood attenuation, erosion control and many others. As such, businesses are critically dependent on ecosystem services to produce their goods and services, and would not be able to operate without them. However, biodiversity is under severe threat globally and the private sector is one of the primary drivers of its degradation and loss.

Framing the biodiversity risks and opportunities of your business.

You may build your business case for biodiversity by identifying the biodiversity risks and opportunities specific to your company. These may be framed from various complementary perspectives, such as:
– The reliance of the activities of your business on biodiversity and its services, directly and / or through its supply chains;
– The bottom-line implications of biodiversity-related revenues, expenses, assets and / or liabilities;
– The relevant laws and regulations applicable to your business and its stakeholders;
– The interests and concerns of your stakeholders (e.g. impact of reputational risks on sales, loss of social license to operate), including clients / customers, local communities, business partners, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Download the new report “Invitation to join the Biodiversity Disclosure Project – A study of the biodiversity performance of South African companies”.

Undertake a self-assessment of your biodiversity performance.

Many businesses are already on the biodiversity mainstreaming journey. Here is a selection of case studies from various industries.

So as to be able to frame why biodiversity matters to your business, we invite you to consult the forthcoming guidance document for this first step of our biodiversity mainstreaming guidelines. This should help you understand:

  • The basic concepts underpinning biodiversity and its interactions with business, including the links with other environmental and sustainability issues;
  • The national and international policy environment regarding biodiversity and its components;
  • The various types of biodiversity risks and opportunities, with examples from a variety of sectors and business applications provided