Biodiversity 101


1 million species are at risk of extinction within a few decades, and that’s estimated to be 10% of all species on Earth.

Global wildlife has declined by 60% over the past 50 years. Without a course correct, we are looking at losing pollinators, food production, and natural resources.

Now governments and regulators have stepped in to help reverse this trend, but that leaves another layer for companies to navigate.

So how can companies start taking biodiversity as seriously as climate change, and stay compliant with new and upcoming regulations?

Watch the full interview below or read on for the top takeaways from this discussion.

Watch the full biodiversity discussion

Top three takeaways

1. Think local, then national, then global

When it comes to improving or offsetting biodiversity, there is best practice to follow.

The first thing to keep in mind is that biodiversity can take years to develop and mature. Sometimes decades. And all ecosystems are interconnected. Species move in between certain habitats, and it can increase pollinator, food production and more. Because of this, it’s always better to first, try and minimize the impact your project has on the environment.

Then, do everything possible to restore as much of the local habitat as possible. Once you’ve done that, try and restore regionally. After that, look nationally, and then finally you can start exploring global offsets if that’s the last resort.

You need to try and do everything possible to improve biodiversity locally and keep local ecosystems thriving, rather than immediately purchasing a credit that will do something halfway around the world but does nothing for the connectivity of ecosystems and pollinator habitats around the corner.

2. Measuring biodiversity is difficult, but not impossible

Measuring biodiversity isn’t easy. There’s no standard definition or unit of measurement that exists for it, whereas carbon and greenhouse gases there is.

Short of counting individual species and making a report on it, there haven’t been efficient ways to measure biodiversity in an area, until recently.

Now certain countries, like the UK, have developed a biodiversity scorecard to give a unified metric and method of measuring biodiversity for an entire country.

The entire basis is a balance between pragmatism and effectiveness. There needs to be a balance that allows for land assets to be analyzed, classified, and tracked in a way that’s accessible and economical for companies.

We broke down what goes into the UK scorecard here if you’d like a deeper dive.

3. Don’t get caught unprepared by regulations

The UK’s biodiversity net gain regulations go into effect in 2023, but the EU, US, and UN have all been discussing similar regulations.

You can rest assured that there will be requirements in place for measuring and improving biodiversity in the coming years.

So, with that in mind, it’s much better to be prepared than to be caught off guard.

Start auditing your land assets and keeping records. Start looking into technology to help you. Start getting your assets assessed and coming up with a plan to improve biodiversity. And start reporting on it, even if it’s just a section in your internal ESG report.

Thinking about these things now will put you far ahead of everyone else when the inevitable regulations do come down, plus in the meantime, you can rest easy knowing that you’re doing the right thing to create a better future.

Want to talk to a sustainability expert about your current processes and how satellites and AI can help you measure sustainability at scale? Get in touch today.