EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform
The global loss of biodiversity has become one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st century. Given that the concern for biodiversity is integral to sustainable development, the European Commission had taken the initiative in 2009 to promote the continued development of the EU Business and Biodiversity Initiative by cooperating with businesses, from SMEs to larger organizations, in setting up a technical platform on Business and Biodiversity.
The EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform works with the priority business sectors identified by the European Commission: agriculture, food supply, forestry, extractive industry, financial sector and tourism to promote their awareness of and engagement in biodiversity protection.
ECNC has been engaged as a project partner in the first phase of the Platform, with particular input for the sectors of agriculture and finance.
The first phase ran from November 2009 until October 2012.
- IUCN - Regional Office for Pan-Europe (Lead partner)
- ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation
- European Landowners' Organization
The platform was and is funded by the European Commission Directorate-General Environment.
The key products of the first phase of the Platform include:
- the Platform website, which provides information in relation to the priority sectors regarding the introduction of biodiversity, challenges, benefits, stakeholders, best-practice examples and guidance, and how to integrate biodiversity into business activities;
- over 50 companies and organizations have joined the Platform;
- newsletters for the registered stakeholders;
- a series of sector-specific workshops, hosted by the European Commission in Brussels, to provide the Platform's participants with the opportunity to present best case studies, discuss the principles of best-practice implementation and to discuss criteria for benchmarking and award schemes;
- sectoral guidance documents which include the development of best-practice guidance concerning the main risks, responsibilities and opportunities for companies in relation to nature and biodiversity conservation;
- sectoral work plans for the coming years which describe the tasks for the further development of the Platform through an integrated and coordinated approach;
- review of international award schemes recognizing excellence in business performance for each priority sector while focusing on environmental performance. Based on this review, a proposal was prepared for the EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform Award Scheme.
A number of publications have been produced by the Platform which are the outcome of several workshops. They include:
- Best practices in B @ B: compilation of case studies per sector from participating companies;
- Workshops on the EU Biodiversity Strategy: summaries;
- Towards benchmarking methodology for biodiversity: compilation of workshop reports;
- Best practice benchmarking: summaries of sectoral workshops.
Currently the second phase of the Platform is running (November 2011 - October 2012). This phase is focusing on strengthening the role of the Platform as a facilitator for stronger business involvement for biodiversity in Europe.