Business and Biodiversity


2011 - From business engagement to biodiversity action

Bridging the gap through transfer of knowledge

Over the years, ECNC has gained substantial experience on working with individual businesses and the business sector as a whole in regard to biodiversity. This work has identified and made explicit the business case for biodiversity.

The conservation of biodiversity is a major concern. As the biodiversity target for 2010 was not reached, new and stricter targets are being set for the coming years. If these targets are to be met, it is essential to strengthen the commitment of all actors. Recognizing that the business sector should be incorporated in the process, a number of initiatives have been set up at national, regional and global levels to encourage stronger business involvement in biodiversity.

ECNC’s experience shows that there is a high level of awareness and willingness within the business sector with respect to the importance and value of biodiversity for both business itself and the community as a whole. Although biodiversity efforts in the business sector have been increasing in recent years, the lack of available information and guidance has been a bottleneck for large-scale business sector involvement in biodiversity conservation efforts. This project bridged the gap by working with businesses to facilitate the transfer of knowledge gathered to date and by supporting them in their efforts to make biodiversity conservation part of their business practice.


The project strived to further the work already done in cooperation with businesses in previous projects as well as to create new cooperation between ECNC and businesses on the matter of biodiversity conservation. Experience gained and lessons learned during the project were contributed to business and biodiversity initiatives and provided input into policy decisions and papers.

This project built upon the contacts and experience gathered in working with the business sector in the past, mainly with Nestlé S.A. This cooperation was continued during this project, aiming at further strengthening the business case for biodiversity within these businesses, as well as using these relationships as an ambassador for ECNC's work on biodiversity conservation in the business sector.

Time frame

The project ran from January to December 2011.


Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).


The most significant outputs of this project were:

  • tailor-made training on biodiversity, ecosystem services and company performance for relevant staff in a number of businesses;
  • the collection of detailed best-practice case studies and dissemination to relevant international business and biodiversity initiatives;
  • further transformation of the online 'Biodiversity Finance Clearing House Mechanism' into a true 'Business and Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism';
  • furthering the development and dissemination of a stand-alone instrument for the business sector to assess its biodiversity performance and display good biodiversity practice.