In September 2020, CSR Europe embraced the challenge to reinforce cooperation between European corporates towards the safeguard of biodiversity worldwide and to imagine a way forward together. CSR Europe started a cross-sectoral discussion  with seven companies to work collaboratively on integrating biodiversity in decision-making processes. The Biodiversity & Industry platform was born from this practical priority, and grew throughout its first year, producing a pragmatical methodology to assess  a business project from a biodiversity perspective. After running a benchmark of the participating companies on their biodiversity management, the platform developed a structured framework to guide a systematic analysis and assessment of their potential impacts on the natural environment. The framework consists of a 5-step methodology through which companies can scope, assess, consult and prioritize upon biodiversity impacts across the value chain. Taking these elements into consideration should facilitate a more responsible decision making process and ultimately protect the local biodiversity. This now published blueprint gives an overview of the platform’s program and achievements, and wants to be a source of inspiration for companies

The objective of the blueprint is to share externally the platform’s progress and outcomes to help other companies to progress. By promoting the results of the first year of the project, this document is a starting point to enlarge the project’s scope and encourage more companies across Europe to embark on the biodiversity journey. The Blueprint starts with an overview of the benchmarking exercise where key results and good practices are presented. Secondly, it introduces the Guiding Framework developed through the collaborative effort within  the platform, aiming at identifying and acting upon potential pressures in new or existing operations. Finally, in the conclusions of the document, upcoming activities of the platform’s second year are presented.  We kindly thank the participating companies for their contributions to this collaborative work: Titan Cement, Engie, Iberdrola, GSK, Philip Morris International, Solvay, and Ipsen.

Biodiversity includes the wide variety of flora and fauna which populates the world and permits the development of human life. Its loss is ranked in the top 5 existential threats that humanity will face within the next 10 years according to the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Risks Report. Indeed, human survival is strongly linked to the dependencies on natural capital and biodiversity. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect, restore and regenerate the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity caused by everyday actions to the global natural heritage. Today, national and international actors must advocate for a sustainable and structured change.

Global leaders expressed their willingness to define a common strategy towards the safeguard of biodiversity worldwide. The EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, presented in the framework of the European Green Deal, together with the EU Taxonomy and the new Corporate  Sustainability Directive show the commitment of the European Union towards these objectives. At the same time, high-level events such as the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, China, and COP26 on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland,underline the importance to boost cooperative efforts and new commitments such as the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Strategy are under development.  At the same time, more and more scientist urge for a common approach to tackle the biodiversity and
climate crisis together. Biodiversity loss and climate change are caused by human economic activity and mutually reinforce each other. Only by tackling them together they can be successfully solved. The relevance of these challenges to business is evident, since 50% of the world’s GDP depends on biodiversity, its ongoing loss is a threat to our global economy. Long-term business survival is only possible if biodiversity becomes a structural part of business decision-making, starting with identifying, assessing, mitigating and disclosing biodiversity pressures in
business operations. To date, even if a growing number of companies are adopting biodiversity strategies, most are still exploring how best to embed these actions – governance, organisation, action plans and KPIs – into their overall sustainability plan, and to align them with emerging
external references and regulatory constraints. This underlines the necessity to reinforce cooperation between European corporates and to imagine a way forward together.

Download the blueprint (pdf)