Story | 30 Nov, 2018

Navigating business indicators on biodiversity just got easier

Paris, France, 29 November 2018 (IUCN) – Businesses struggling to identify indicators to measure their environmental performance will benefit from a new report released today by IUCN and Oxford University during Natural Capital Week.

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The development and use of biodiversity indicators in business.

Photo: Shutterstock

Many businesses are aware of the importance of measuring their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity, but how to apply existing frameworks and tools in a business context is often a challenge.

The new report aims to help businesses seeking to clear up some of the confusion around biodiversity indicators, to help businesses know where to start, by asking the right questions upfront, and to guide them to select existing indicators that can help measure and track their biodiversity performance.

“By presenting a full spectrum of business applications for biodiversity indicators, companies can think more critically about what they need out of biodiversity indicators, and will now be able to successfully navigate a variety of contexts where indicators are relevant,” says Prue Addison of Oxford University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science, and the lead author of the report. The report was presented by Dr Addison at the ‘Business & biodiversity: Roadmaps to Positive Impact' meeting this week in Paris, to a conference of peers, which recognised it as an important foundational report that the business and biodiversity community can now build on.

The development and use of biodiversity indicators in business: an overview builds on a suite of work focused on providing guidelines and tools specifically for business, and it is intended to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on biodiversity indicators within Europe and beyond.  For example, this issue has been highlighted throughout the UN Conference on Biodiversity taking place in Egypt this month.

“Increasingly business is seen as an essential actor in the race to reverse global trends in biodiversity loss. Therefore, we have aimed to translate the current body of conservation science frameworks and tools to help business measure and manage their biodiversity impacts and dependencies,” says Giulia Carbone, Deputy Director of IUCN’s Business and Biodiversity Programme and one of the authors of the report.

This report will be the focus of an hour-long webinar on Thursday, 6 December, at 15:00 (CET). To join the session, please register here.

The next phase of the joint collaboration between IUCN and Oxford University will focus on developing testing an approach to biodiversity indicator development applied across a range of business applications and sectors. This work represents a collective effort from academics and civil society groups to work closely with the businesses in order to integrate biodiversity into business decision-making. This work is critical in the lead up to 2020, where a new deal for nature will be set and the private sector is needed to join the collective effort to halt the loss of biodiversity.

For more information, download the report here or visit the IUCN website.