The health and sustainability of an organisations physical geographical environment, including the supply chain, has a direct impact on the health, wealth and sustainable well-being of the organisation itself. An increasing number of companies are therefore engaging in the process of mapping their biodiversity footprint as part of a standard set of economic indicators to measure current and future profitability.
British American Tobacco (BAT) for example have recognised that the success of their business now and in the future depends on biodiversity. They undertook a high level review of their agricultural supply chain to identify risks around elements within their production process such as water, palm oil, timber and pulp.
Subsequent to the study, BAT generated a company Biodiversity Statement, set up their Biodiversity Partnership and began work on transforming their risks and opportunities assessment into on-the-ground projects.
We worked with Barcardi to look at their global footprint and reviewed biodiversity at three key sites. Our examination included a review of threatened species within the sites and incorporated the different operational elements in how they conduct their business and interact with their environment. In effective we conducted a risk assessment applying appropriate ecological and scientific methodology.
The value to businesses is significant. By figuring out your geographical footprint and your global biodiversity value you can ensure your license to operate is secured, that your supply chain is strengthened and sustainable this financial year and in the years to come. Working relationships with stakeholders is improved and your appeal to ethical consumers and socially responsible investors is increased.
Whilst each organisation has its unique requirements our fundamental structure and approach with Biodiversity Footprinting remains constant. The exercise starts and ends with you and your business objectives and needs.
At a corporate level we run workshops with key stakeholders to understand your current biodiversity issues. By figuring out the Impacts and Dependencies that you have within your operation we are able to:
- map out your biodiversity footprint
- drill down to the detail through on the ground surveys
- review current sourcing from and impact (e.g. in terms of land clearance, local operations, pollution etc).
- review current stocks are and longevity of sourcing under current approach
- establish a baseline – what is your impact now
- identify do you need to reduce and, if so, by how much and by when
- advise on measurement and reporting/monitoring and evaluation
- ensure clear communications policy in place