The European Business and Biodiversity (B@B) Platform provides an EU level forum for sustained and strategic dialogue about the links between business and biodiversity. Through three separate thematic workstreams, the Platform delivers tangible results by working with business to develop tools and approaches that integrate biodiversity considerations into business practice. The B@B Platform also helps to coordinate and to raise awareness of innovative national and international initiatives, and showcase business best practices at EU level. Look at the different types of memberships and the multiple benefits you can reap from the B@B Platform.
Natural Capital Accounting
Innovation for Biodiversity and Business
Access to Finance and Innovative Finance Mechanisms
On 13 September 2016, about 25 financial institutions and organisations came together in the premises of the European Commission to discuss the creation of an EU Community of Practice (CoP) Finance@Biodiversity. Spurred by the enthusiasm of the participants and the lively discussions of the workshop the EU CoP Finance@Biodiversity was voted for. The content and outcome of the workshop discussions will soon be made available on this website. Stay tuned! More information on the outline of the CoP Finance@Biodiversity will be presented at the third Annual Conference of the EU B@B Platform taking place in The Hague on 23 November 2016. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend and register to the Conference.
“Money Talks” is a new and user-friendly toolkit released by the insurance company, Aviva, setting out ideas to policymakers and practitioners for how to best create the change we need to catalyse and scale a sustainable financial sector. This toolkit shows there are concrete steps we can take now to address some of the major barriers and foster sustainability in the financial sector. In this toolkit, you will also find an interactive map of Europe’s capital markets that allows you to explore the key actors within financial markets and barriers to sustainability.
LIFE Certification is a practical tool to recognise organisations engaged on biodiversity and ecosystem services conservation. Launched in 2009, LIFE developed a unique quantitative assessment methodology that measures, monitors and compares organisations – from any size and any sector - on a single scale, in relation to their biodiversity impact and/or their biodiversity performance. This methodology has recently been revised after a long-lasting review which started in 2014 and involved academics, businesses, auditors, and certification experts. LIFE Initiative has the recognition of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. LIFE Certification scheme is operational in Brazil and Paraguay and on international expansion process in other Latin American countries. For more information click here.
WBCSD recently launched an online, free training course on Natural Infrastructure for Business (NI4Biz). Targeting a business audience, this course aims to raise business awareness on the multiple benefits of natural infrastructure projects, leading to increased investments in nature-based solutions that are good for business, society and the environment. The course consists of freely available training material and is designed as an interactive workshop including group exercises and facilitated discussions.
While the Natural Capital Protocol has been pilot-tested and released, “there still is some way to go to make natural capital assessment practical for business and for it to result it meaningful change for the environment” a recent article by Gemma Cranston, Acting Director at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), says. The next step therefore includes the implementation of the Protocol Application Program, which CISL will be leading on behalf of the Natural Capital Coalition. This phase will consist in a business engagement process to explore the impacts and outcomes resulting from business using the Protocol.
A recent UNEP article by Pushpam Kumar, Chief of Ecosystem Services’ Economics Unit at UNEP explains how restoring natural capital can lead to reductions in poverty around the world. Policies to restore natural capital include wetland banking, biodiversity offsets and compensation for ecosystem service losses. “Such policies have the potential to generate funds which can be used for natural capital maintenance and poverty alleviation” the report says.
The Natural Capital Protocol (NCP) has been developed in order to aid the shift towards a world where business conserves and enhances natural capital. Developed in a unique collaborative effort between 38 organizations - with input from hundreds more during piloting and consultation - the Protocol provides a standardized framework for businesses to identify, measure and value their direct and indirect impacts and dependencies on natural capital. If adopted at scale, the NCP has the power to revolutionise the way that businesses evaluate their operations and make strategic decisions. Have a look at the Protocol and find out how to make natural resources and the services they provide visible to your business.
The EU B@B Platform has been also part of this launch: on 7 July 2016, the Natural Capital Coalition released a report summarising the outputs from 2014-2016 to date of the Platform’s Natural Capital Accounting for Business workstream, which have fed into the development of the NCP. The launch of the NCP indeed represents a great achievement. EU B@B Platform may wish to keep looking forward for opportunities to engaging further with NCC to keep spreading the good news.
What do companies have to do with biodiversity and how should they get involved? The German Platform “Biodiversity in Good Company” just released the "Basic knowledge: companies and biodiversity", a series a series of short, cross-industry information modules for companies interested in finding out more on this topic. The modules offer very helpful guidance, suggestions and multiple advice, helpful not only for large, but also smaller businesses.
The International Organization for Standardization ISO has recently begun to develop ISO 14008 - "Monetary valuation of environmental impacts from specific emissions and use of natural resources", which is planned to be published at the end of 2018 as a non-certifiable standard.
The proposed standard will only address some basic parts of this area by providing a common framework and common terms. It will not prescribe what shall be included in a valuation but intends to make it more transparent what is behind the numbers and how they have been determined. The rationale for ISO to engage in this area is that there is already a strong trend in monetary assessments by government (i.e. the polluter pays principle), private sector (in reporting, risk assessment etc.) and academia, and clarification is needed. Learn more on the ISO website.
A new tool for financial institutions to incorporate water risk in corporate bond credit risk analysis shows that several beverages, mining and power companies are significantly exposed to water stress. This tool was developed by the Natural Capital Declaration, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Association for Environmental Management and Sustainability in Financial Institutions (VfU) in response to growing demand for analytics to integrate water risk factors into investment analytics. Seven financial institutions from Europe and the Americas - UBS, Robeco, Calvert Investments, Pax World, J Safra Sarasin, Banorte and Bancolombia – took part in the tool’s development. Visit VfU website for more info.
Third Annual Conference of the EU B@B Platform: the agenda is out and registrations are open!
The third Annual Conference of the EU B@B Platform will take place on 23 November 2016 in The Hague, back to back with the international conference “Natural Capital | Let's talk business!”. This year, the Conference will be held under the theme “Taking Stock, Looking Forward” and will represent a great opportunity for members of the EU B@B Platform and other businesses alike to learn about the work of the EU B@B Platform and to exchange their views on the critical issues linked to business and biodiversity. The agenda of the conference is now available and you can register here.
Location: Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW); Bezuidenhoutseweg 12, 2594 AV Den Haag, Netherlands
Don’t miss this event and register now!
Key forthcoming events:
Two weeks to go before the 'Making Nature Count' conference organised on 4 October by the Irish Forum on Natural Capital. This event will bring together scientists, economists, NGOs, accountants, policymakers and businesses to look at the natural capital approach from a variety of perspectives and examine its potential to help us address the environmental and social challenges we face.
Ecoacsa in collaboration with Fundación Global Nature and Fundación Conama are organising the Natural Capital Summit on 5-6 October 2016 in Madrid. The Natural capital Summit will be a unique opportunity in Spain to learn how Natural Capital is beneficial for companies and society and how the impacts and dependencies that companies have of natural resources can be measured and valued. The presentation of the Natural Capital Protocol, initiative impelled by the Natural Capital Coalition, will play a key role during the meeting. The event is addressed at business leaders (business strategy, financial department and CSR managers), as well as environmental and sustainability professionals from different sectors.
CO2logic, Naturalogic and Trucost are organising the 2nd edition of their "Climate Change and the Financial Sector Seminar". The seminar is taking place in Brussels on 6 October 2016 in Brussels. It will aim to discuss how lenders and investors can address regulatory, supplier and physical risks and opportunities associated with climate change. If you wish to subscribe, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A two-day Natural Capital Leadership Lab is organised in Cambridge (UK) by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) on 11-12 October 2016. This residential sustainability workshop will demonstrate how to assess environmental resources and respond to natural capital challenges. Using a variety of tools and best practices, this short course will lead you in developing an effective natural capital strategy, strengthening supply chains, developing resilience and tackling risks. For more information click here
The international conference Natural Capital | Let's talk business! is organised by the Dutch Platform for Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Economy (BEE). It will start on 23 November in the evening and last until 25 November 2016 at the Fokker Terminal in The Hague. The EU B@B Platform will host one of the breakout sessions during this conference. The session will present the top 10 business and biodiversity lessons identified by the EU B@B Platform over the last three years and focus on the identification of future priorities. All participants will be invited to share their views on the outputs generated, and lessons learned, by the Platform and on its future priorities.
The CBD Business and Biodiversity Forum will take place in Cancun, Mexico on 2-3 December 2016 immediately prior to the start of the thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the CBD, which will be taking place on 4–17 December 2016. The Forum will run in parallel with the Ministerial High-Level Segment of the COP. Interactive panel discussions are planned on topics very similar to the ones tackled by the EU B@B Platform including financing; Natural Capital Accounting; supply chains and sustainable production and consumption; climate, biodiversity and business; access and benefits sharing; and partnerships and other innovative approaches for biodiversity conservation).
Registrations to the Forum are now open! In case your company is planning to attend the CBD Business and Biodiversity Forum, the European Commission would welcome your notification in order to facilitate synergies and enhance the visibility of EU businesses in this global forum. This can be done through a brief email in to Lars Müller and Yann Verstraeten.
The section “Future events and workshops” of the B@B Platform has been updated with a series of key events happening in the coming months!
Studio Ing. Marini’s specialisation is road infrastructure with an expertise in energy saving. It has already undertaken considerable amount of work aimed at preventing and mitigating the negative effects of urbanisation, developing each project to preserve biodiversity, natural landscape and natural heritage of local ecosystems.
An example of mitigative interventions includes the creation of wetlands with specific plants to carry out the phytodepurification process, creation of wooded areas with autochthonous trees and bush species, reconstruction of underground connective paths for local fauna, treatment of the water through removal, filtration and phytopurification, creation of embankments to mitigate visual-acoustic pollution, creation of buffer-strips, and the use of various types of technologies in road lighting installations to reduce the consumption of energy.