Published on: Jul 07, 2010
A new tool is now available to help companies assess their biodiversity risks and opportunities.
Developed by Two Tomorrows and ecological consultancy Biocensus, the desk-based assessment involves screening a company's sites, whether in one country, a region or worldwide, against a set of risk and opportunity indicators.
Mark Line, executive chairman of Two Tomorrows, explains: “Biodiversity issues present both risks and opportunities for business, yet few companies understand what they are and fewer still have begun responding properly through their strategies and practices.
“Our approach takes account of processes carried out at an organisation’s sites, their size and their relative proximity to areas of high conservation value. We look at the likelihood that priority species will be present in the vicinity of these sites, the approach to environmental and estate management and the quality of any relationships with conservation organisations.”
Tim Hounsome, managing director of Biocensus, adds: “This new service has been developed as an initial cost-effective tool for those wishing to assess the scale of biodiversity risk and opportunity in their organisation. The results provide clients with a relative ranking of biodiversity risk and opportunity in a format compatible with a corporate risk register. The screening process enables companies to decide whether a more detailed investigation is warranted and, if necessary, to set priorities for further work.”
Two Tomorrows and Biocensus also offer a complementary tool that assesses the relative maturity of a company’s, or a site's, approach to biodiversity management. This may be particularly helpful for companies pursuing an approach of continuous improvement. It enables biodiversity management arrangements to be integrated properly into existing arrangements such as a site or corporate EMS.
Mark Line continues: “There is a compelling business case for the incorporation of biodiversity into business planning and operations. Companies are increasingly aspiring towards long-term social and environmental sustainability for ethical reasons and in the interests of financial success, legislative compliance and risk management. The link between the health of the environment and the health of our economies is becoming clearer. However, although biodiversity issues present many opportunities and risks for the commercial sector, they have not been widely adopted into business thinking.”
Two Tomorrows and Biocensus will be joining business leaders and experts from around the world at the first Global Business of Biodiversity Symposium being held at Excel International Business Centre in London on 13th July 2010.