Faced with the constant deterioration of biodiversity and the political difficulties at EU level to reach the targets of its 2020 strategy, CSR Europe is calling for stronger business collaboration to achieve a Sustainable Europe by 2030. Companies are invited to join the Collaborative Platform “Biodiversity & Industry” that will be kicked-off on September 24th. Register Now
Ecosystems and socioeconomic systems are profoundly connected. If, on the one hand, human well-being strongly depends on the health of the ecosystem, which provides the food, water, and clean air, on the other hand, human activities have a strong impact on the ecosystem. In other words, what we eat, drink, and breath is safe and beneficial for us only if we do not harm it with our actions.
Unfortunately, we are doing precisely the opposite. According to the latest Global Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the human impact is deteriorating nature and its vital contributions. The fabric of life is becoming smaller, thinner and more frayed.
Our Approach to Biodiversity, Industry collaboration for success
Since businesses are present at the local level and interact directly with the ecosystems, they have a fundamental role in driving change. Collaboration among different stakeholders is therefore key to enhance business’ strategies for biodiversity conservation and regeneration. For this reason, CSR Europe is inviting companies to join the new collaborative platform on “Biodiversity & Industry”. With this collective action, the business will be able to strengthen its biodiversity strategy, scale-up their initiatives for biodiversity conservation, and enhance their impacts.
The Platform, which hosted its first webinar on June 26th on “Measure corporate biodiversity impact”, involved keynote presentations from Solvay and Toyota Europe. Both companies showcased their experiences in collaborating with stakeholders to ensure the inclusion of biodiversity in the business decision-making process. Companies that attended the webinar also learned how to manage and measure biodiversity impact using various tools and methodologies. Companies interested in joining can already register to participate in the official Biodiversity & Industry Platform kick-off Workshop on 24 September to explore the challenges arising from the industry’s biodiversity footprint. At the same time, businesses will work together to identify viable solutions.
CSR Europe is also partnering up with the EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform, which was set up two years ago by the European Commission to work with and help businesses integrating natural capital and biodiversity considerations into their business practices. EU representatives of the platform will kick off CSR Europe’s workshop in September, presenting their policy work on: Natural capital accounting, Innovation and Finance.
A European Biodiversity Strategy, where are we now?
Despite the development of a global path towards the conservation of biodiversity, political commitment has revealed to be too weak to face the current challenges.
The first EU overall biodiversity strategy was adopted only in 2011, setting 6 targets and 20 actions to “halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU and restore them insofar as feasible, and step-up EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss”. However, the first steps towards the protection of ecosystem and biodiversity started a long time before – with the two Natura directives, the Bird Directive (1979) and the Habitats Directive (1992), which become the basis of the future strategies in protection of the environment of the EU. In 2010 the EU also committed to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of 1993, which became operational with the Aichi Targets for 2020.
However, the EU has confronted many challenges in meeting the targets before the 2020 deadline. Already in 2015, it became evident that the measures adopted were not enough. To accelerate the compliance to the 2020 targets of the EU biodiversity strategy, the EU adopted in 2017 the Action Plan for Nature, People and the Economy. Most probably, the EU Action Plan alone will not be enough to reach the goals, as national and international institutions are moving too slow to be the locomotive of the path towards the 2050 global vision of “Living in Harmony with nature”.