Three-quarters of businesses fail to include their biodiversity impact within their sustainability plans, despite two-thirds having a dedicated biodiversity role, a new report finds.
Almost all businesses (98%) are currently exceeding legal greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements, a survey of 500 senior sustainability officers by software company AiDash found.
According to the report, three-quarters of respondents (75%) said they were not including biodiversity impacts in their sustainability plans, although almost seven in ten (69%) respondents said they are aiming to hit net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The news follows the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) where the impact of the loss of natural habitats was heavily discussed by world leaders. A failure of biodiversity can result in ecosystems collapsing, which can be detrimental to food supply chains and natural resources.
Abhishek Vinod Singh, CEO of AiDash, commented on the report stating businesses should implement dedicated biodiversity policies to mitigate harm, and said they are uniquely placed to create direct action.
“Declining biodiversity is an existential threat to natural ecosystems and to our world, affecting economic growth, human health and prosperity,” said Singh
“Procurement teams and sustainability officers have direct and indirect influences on biodiversity, both of which come down to data. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and corporations can start developing data by assessing and reporting the biodiversity impact of their own activities and processes,” he said.
“There is also opportunity and obligation in managing the indirect biodiversity influences of any company’s supply chain […] With or without regulations, companies can improve their own biodiversity impact by requiring their supply chains to report on biodiversity, and by selecting vendors who themselves support biodiversity.”
Two-thirds (66%) of senior sustainability officers said they had a dedicated biodiversity role in their company. However, the report warned measuring biodiversity can be “challenging”.
“Traditional solutions are frequently manual and highly complex, involving sending ecologists to collect data from key areas and extrapolate findings for an entire site. These measurements are inherently incomplete, prone to unconscious bias, and can be expensive and time-consuming for large areas or distributed estates,” it said.
The UK has lost half of its biodiversity since 1970, research from the Natural History Museum found. The UK has the least amount of surviving biodiversity out of any G7 country.
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