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Business and Biodiversity

For many businesses the links with biodiversity are clear. Extractive industries such as mining, oil and gas have a direct impact on ecosystems and biodiversity. Others, like farming and fishing, depend on healthy ecosystems to produce the goods they sell. Increasingly the significance of biodiversity to the wider economy is also becoming clear. For example, in Scotland it is estimated that the natural environment is worth £17 billion per year (in 2008) to the Scottish economy.

The UN and EU sponsored Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity or TEEB report highlights the risks if we continue with a 'business as usual' approach and the opportunities that acting to conserve biodiversity can also bring.

What this shows is that conserving biodiversity is not only about the beauty of the natural world but that the economic costs of protecting biodiversity are tiny in comparison to the costs of the failure to protect it and the breakdown of natural services this would cause.

Many businesses are aware of the need to cut carbon emissions and the need for a low carbon economy but to behave sustainably businesses also need to consider their impacts on the biodiversity and natural resources that we all need for a healthy and productive society.