Registration is now open for the European Business & Nature Summit, co-hosted by Business For Biodiversity Ireland with the EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform in Brussels this October. A number of high-profile speakers have been announced.

Orange card with headshots of various speakers

The European Commission-backed event, taking place at The Egg venue on October 18-19th, will also be livestreamed. The two days will feature high-level political round tables and thematic practical workshops and side events to help businesses on their journey to ASSESS, COMMIT, TRANSFORM and DISCLOSE their relationship with nature.

The 2022 summit will be an important milestone in the road to Phase 2 of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) later this year. Business For Biodiversity Ireland is delighted to contribute to strengthening Europe’s growing Business for Biodiversity movement. The event aims to help our business community shape and prepare for the imminent transformative shift toward a nature-positive business model.

Speakers announced include:

  • Moderator Humberto Delgado Rosa, Director for Natural Capital, DG Environment
  • Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General, Environment Department, European Commission
  • Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary, IPBES
  • Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, EC
  • Richard Mattison, CEO, S&P Global Trucost
  • And many more sustainability & business experts.

Business For Biodiversity Ireland Platform Lead Lucy Gaffney said: “In a world suffering drastic biodiversity loss, ‘business as usual’ is no longer acceptable. It is only with long-term vision and strong collaboration that we will be able to turn the tide and protect the natural ecosystems on which societies and economies depend.”

Register now for the European Business and Nature Summit and be part of a European movement of corporate leaders taking steps towards integrating biodiversity into their business models, while also addressing its ‘twin’ crisis – climate change.

Check out the programme for more details of agenda and speakers and register on the European Business & Nature Summit website.

#EUBiodiversity #BusinessNatureSummit #EBNS22 #NatureIsEveryonesBusiness #ForNature  #BiodiversityCrisis #JoinTheEvolution #BizBioIrl

New ‘Business for Biodiversity’ platform will help businesses to take strategic action for biodiversity

 

Ministers Noonan and Hackett launch initiative supported by KPMG, Gas Networks Ireland, Bord na Mona and Coillte

 

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD and Minister of State for Land-Use & Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett, today encouraged businesses to sign up to Business for Biodiversity, a new platform to guide them in taking action to tackle the biodiversity crisis.

 

Backed by the National Parks & Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage and the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine the platform was launched today at the National Biodiversity Conference in Dublin Castle. The new platform will help businesses to measure, design and demonstrate their biodiversity impact, drawing on a network of expertise led by Natural Capital Ireland, the National Biodiversity Data Centre and Business in the Community Ireland.

 

 

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Malcolm Noonan said:

“I’m looking forward to seeing the Irish business community drive action on the biodiversity agenda. This platform aims to bring businesses together across sectors to assess biodiversity impact, take strategic action across a range of organisational levels, and learn from international best practice in corporate biodiversity governance. Corporate action is an important element of the all-of-society approach required to address biodiversity loss and I encourage all businesses to sign up to the platform, and get involved to help protect, conserve and restore nature.”

 

Minister Hackett said:

“The business community has a vital role to play in our response to the biodiversity crisis, so I am delighted to support this platform. Employees and consumers alike are demanding more from businesses when it comes to their environmental credentials, and this platform will enable businesses to build their awareness of both their impacts and their dependencies on biodiversity. With that awareness, businesses will be empowered to take action to address biodiversity loss and to  have a positive impact on the communities in which they operate.”

 

How the platform works

The purpose of the platform is to encourage and incentivise Irish businesses to assess their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity. The overarching aim is to support implementation of Ireland’s National Biodiversity Action Plan, to halt harmful activities and promote the restoration and regeneration of Ireland’s natural heritage. Business For Biodiversity received Government seed funding for an initial three-year period, but from January onwards, the platform will put a paid membership model in place, once well-developed resources are established to offer support and networking opportunities to businesses, with a tiered fee system to suit every scale, from small-to-medium enterprises to large multi-nationals.

 

Some of the services to be offered by the platform include increasing understanding of biodiversity through educational webinars, facilitating networking and collaboration among participating companies, educating member companies around national policy on biodiversity and identifying nature-based solutions to address climate change and biodiversity loss.

Platform Development Manager for Business for Biodiversity, Lucy Gaffney today acknowledged the important role that participating companies play in developing standards – for example, many businesses are now working with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan to enhance their contribution to bees and other pollinators. She said the plan is to incorporate some of these existing certifications into Business for Biodiversity’s own scoring system to ensure streamlined compatibility between the various initiatives.

 

Ms Gaffney emphasised:

“Biodiversity is complex and hard to measure which is why we are working with the National Biodiversity Data Centre and Business in the Community to ask businesses to come aboard at this early stage to help us develop a biodiversity evaluation metric that can be applied and tailored to businesses of every sector and scale. Private enterprises are part of the solution to this crisis and important partners in addressing biodiversity loss.”

 

Business support for the platform:

Today’s launch was attended by a number of businesses and organisations lending support to the platform, including KPMG, Gas Networks Ireland, Bord na Móna and Coillte.

Orlaith Delargy, Associate Director at KPMG Ireland said:

 

“KPMG recognises how our economy depends on biodiversity, and the vital role that business has to play in halting and reversing nature loss. We’re delighted to become a founding member of Ireland’s Business and Biodiversity Platform as part of our wider set of ESG ambitions and today we make the pledge to assess our impacts and dependencies on biodiversity; and support the implementation of Ireland’s National Biodiversity Action Plan.

 

Sustainability Manager Anne Moore of Gas Networks Ireland commented:

“As part of our commitment to responsible business, Gas Networks Ireland is proud to be a founding member of this new Business for Biodiversity Platform being established here today. Gas Networks Ireland is progressing its own biodiversity action plan which has ambitious targets driven by the 2019 Seeds for Nature Charter”.

 

Ger Breen, Head of Land and Habitats at Bord na Móna, added that:

“Bord na Móna takes its responsibility to restore and protect our habitats very seriously and we have made excellent progress in peatland rehabilitation. During the first year of the rehabilitation programme, Bord na Móna undertook the rewetting of some 8000 hectares of peatland. The Brown to Green strategy supports Ireland’s climate action objectives through the delivery of renewable energy projects and the implementation of the Peatland Climate Action Scheme (PCAS), funded by the Government and Bord na Móna. Our work is creating rich and diverse habitats for our native plant and animal species.”

Ciaran Fallon, Director of Coillte Nature said:

“Sustainable forestry has such an important role to play in a nature-positive future and we are delighted to be a founding member of the new business and biodiversity platform. The platform will provide much needed help and support to the Irish business community, and we are excited to see how the journey to nature-positive unfolds.”

 

Biodiversity is the variety of life at various scales, from genes to species to habitats, with an estimated one million species facing extinction worldwide. The decline in pollinators vital for food production is a particularly worrying issue. Experts warn that biodiversity loss poses as much of a threat to our planet as climate change – and with healthy ecosystems and habitats needed for climate regulation and carbon storage, the two issues are closely interlinked.

 

The new platform fulfils one of the objectives set out in Ireland’s National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021 and aims to develop as a resource that will positively transform the relationship between business and nature in Ireland.

 

 

 

The natural world is full of synergistic relationships. Relationships that provide mutual benefits and opportunities.

These relationships are part of a larger interconnected system, which is optimised, successful and thrives within the boundaries of its own sphere of existence. If something within that system changes, adaptation, and evolution, results. Failure to adapt often spells disaster!

This form of interconnected, complex relationships also exists between organisations and businesses within a market or economy. Much like a biological ecosystem, the business ecosystem has an array of different types of connections and relationships, some tightly dependent, some less so, but without them we could not succeed. Like a biological ecosystem, the business ecosystem evolves to fluctuating internal or external factors. This ability to adapt, both in natural and business ecosystems separates those who thrive and those who do not.

The real story here, is that natural and business ecosystems are inextricably linked. Nature underpins all our business ecosystems. You may be several degrees of separation from the soil, but it will still represent the foundation of some aspect of your business.

Protecting nature will build long-term resilience into our economy. Regardless of your sector, doing nothing is no longer an option. There is no future for “Business as Usual”

Business for Biodiversity is Ireland’s new national business and biodiversity platform launching this March. The platform will focus on increasing awareness and education around business links to nature, applicable policy information, networking and collaboration opportunities and examples of actions that businesses can take.

Follow the evolution on LinkedIn or by joining our mailing list through businessforbiodiversity.ie

#jointheevolution #evolutionofbusiness #naturepositive #fornature #biodiversity #bizbioirl

Many of us have heard this term “nature positive” used in the context of business and biodiversity, but what does it actually mean?

“Nature positive” does not have an official definition…yet, but a nature-positive business is generally understood to have certain qualities and values.

Nature positive businesses understand how their business operations impact on the environment, and they also understand how they benefit from nature, or how they depend on it, for example, through an ecosystem service like pollination.

Once a business understands their impacts and dependencies, they can transform how they do things to avoid or reduce pressure on the natural world. The impacts may be hidden within their value chain, but a business has the power to switch suppliers and make that shift towards organisations that are more tuned in to their environmental or social impact.

A nature positive business mobilises resources to enhance ecosystems and enrich biodiversity. They can do this by enhancing the natural habitats that occur within their landholding, by working with communities to enrich local ecosystems or by providing funding to NGOs to enable rewilding projects further afield, perhaps in key geographic areas and ecosystems that have high biodiversity value or critical habitats, like the Amazon Rainforest.
Carbon storage is another priority for a nature-positive business. Cutting carbon emissions, protecting natural carbon sinks, and transforming agriculture to enhance sequestration are fundamental ways that businesses can improve their carbon storage capacity.

Respecting the right to safe water means that businesses must be compliant with liquid waste disposal and discharging into rivers and streams.

Experts claim that we may have entered an era of pandemics driven by the anthropogenic degradation of nature and biodiversity. If we are to escape this quagmire of rapidly spreading global diseases, we need an enormous shift towards prevention. It is estimated that there could be another 850,000 undiscovered viruses that could have the ability to jump to human hosts. The way we currently use our land, trade unsustainably, disrupt natural systems, interfere with wild populations of animals paves the road towards increased pandemic risk. This risk is lowered significantly by intercepting the drivers of biodiversity loss.

The cost of inaction is growing exponentially. The longer we leave it, the more it will cost us, financially and in terms of our heath and wellbeing.

Momentum is building and percolating down to businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. The Nature-Positive movement is here, and it will make us stronger, happier, and more resilient.

Join the evolution of business. How can your business become more nature positive?

This is a question increasingly being asked of business in recent years, but for some sectors, it can be a tricky one to answer.

Businesses do not operate outside of the boundaries of nature and ecosystems. We rely heavily on the stocks and services that nature provides.

So where do we begin?

Stocks

Nature is the great provider. We have built empires and civilizations upon her bounty, but she’s on her knees and time is running out.

For some sectors, like agriculture, it’s easier to connect with nature but her influence is far reaching and often unnoticed. For example, could you run your business without

  • Natural fibres and textiles: cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, jute, wool, silk, leather
  • Paper, cardboard, or wood; product packaging, printing, tissues and napkins, furniture, construction
  • Food; tilled crops, livestock, fish
  • Rubber; tyres, seals, washers, apparel, furniture, toys
  • Dyes; textiles, paint, photographs, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, biological stains, food colouring
  • Insects; silk, shellac nail treatment, food colouring, animal feed
  • Plants: cosmetics, medicines, essential oils, plant extracts, gardens, and landscaping
  • Water; textiles, agriculture, beverage production, automotive
  • Metals; construction, automotive, electronics, aerospace, medical devices, printing, pharmaceuticals
  • Minerals; cement, ceramics, glass, lime, chemicals, medicines, electronics, pyrotechnics, pest control, pigments, toothpaste, light bulbs, cosmetics, insulation, gloss, fertilizers, construction materials

If your business services any of these sectors, guess what? You depend on nature!

Services

Our livelihoods depend on a healthy planet. We, as businesses and individuals, rely on nature and biodiversity to provide services like recycling and composting, water filtration, healthy productive soils, clean air, pest control, flood protection and pollination. In addition, we receive other social, cultural and health benefits by being within and connected to nature, and you can’t put a price on that!

We are on the verge of a green revolution where business must adapt, and to use a biological term, evolve to become more sustainable and to position nature and biodiversity at the core of decision-making. Our planetary resources are finite, and if this evolution doesn’t happen, who knows what the future may hold… not much.

We’re all connected, and nature connects us all.

#jointheevolution #biodiversityfirst