Helping business understand biodiversity management
10 April 2014 | News story
Today the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released a new guide that aims to expand business understanding and use of biodiversity information to help manage their environmental impact.
IUCN and partners are developing a series of ‘knowledge products’ which are platforms of knowledge that include assessments of authoritative biodiversity information supported by standards, guidelines, data, tools and training.
Biodiversity for Business - A guide to using knowledge products delivered through IUCN is targeted at companies to help them better understand and use knowledge products to assess environmental risks and opportunities in their operations. The guide aims to show how knowledge products can help assess, value, manage and report on business impact and dependency on biodiversity and to help comply with environmental standards and certification schemes.
“It is important for IUCN to demonstrate what kind of knowledge is out there and how it can be used by companies as an input to their decision making,” said Giulia Carbone, Deputy Director, IUCN Global Business and Biodiversity Programme.
“We wanted to ensure that this knowledge is not only used by the NGO community, but also by companies, since it is critical in assessing and managing risks and opportunities.”
The guide, developed by the IUCN in close collaboration with the WBCSD and its member companies, focuses on four knowledge products:
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, which assesses the risk of species becoming extinct;
- Protected Planet (powered by the World Database on Protected Areas), which documents the extent, quality and diversity of protected areas;
- Key Biodiversity Areas, which identifies areas of global significance for biodiversity;
- The Red List of Ecosystems, which assesses the risk of ecosystem collapse.
“This guide has been developed for business and sustainability managers and environmental consultants to increase their understanding of which biodiversity knowledge products are available for use and how they can be deployed across companies to improve management of natural capital,” said Violaine Berger, Director, Ecosystems & Agriculture at WBCSD.
“It nicely complements the WBCSD’s Eco4Biz Guide, which provides a structured overview of existing ecosystem services and biodiversity tools and approaches to support business decision-making.”
After decades of working together, the WBCSD became a member of IUCN in 2013. This was a milestone in terms of enhanced collaboration and business engagement, allowing for scaled-up solutions to better achieve IUCN’s vision: a just world that values and conserves nature.