The Biodiversity Disclosure Project (BDP) will be a voluntary biodiversity disclosure platform that provides companies with a practical avenue through which to report annually on their biodiversity performance. Initially targeting South African companies, the BDP will enable businesses to disclose their biodiversity performance in a standardised and comparable manner.
According to our recent study, the overall biodiversity performance of South African companies is very low. The BDP will act as a catalyst for change in that it will build the capacity of companies to mainstream biodiversity into their activities. Furthermore, companies will be invited to report through the BDP platform on their biodiversity management by completing a BDP questionnaire, which is to be developed through extensive stakeholder consultation. This questionnaire may cover several dimensions of corporate biodiversity performance, including but not limited to:
- Biodiversity governance and policy;
- Management approach, targets, key performance indicators and measures put in place to manage material biodiversity issues;
- Net changes in biodiversity impacts and dependencies (see the BD Protocol);
- Associated risks and impacts on the organisation and its stakeholders;
- Outlook and plans for improvement.
Data voluntarily reported will be analysed by the BDP secretariat according to a transparent methodology. Information thus produced by the BDP platform will provide shareholders, investors, non-governmental organisations and policy makers, with the evidence needed to make informed decisions. Improving the biodiversity disclosure of reporting organisations will enable benchmarking with peers across and within industries, pushing for continuous improvement to minimise risks, reduce costs and seize new opportunities.