Business for Biodiversity in Ireland aims to grow its membership

Call for Irish businesses to join online hub to ramp up action for nature

The Business for Biodiversity Ireland platform is calling on Irish businesses of every size and sector to come together to accelerate action for nature. The Government-backed national hub is launching a new membership function, with an easy-to-follow roadmap which aims to demystify the multitude of biodiversity frameworks, guidance documents and tools for businesses facing new legislation on reporting their impacts on nature.

Business for Biodiversity: Irish businesses to ramp up action for nature

With biodiversity – the variety of all living things – in sharp decline globally and nature restoration linked to the fight against climate change, EU legislation such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive requires businesses to report their impacts on the environment. With increasing consumer demand and awareness of environmental issues also, more and more businesses are keen to transition their business model to Nature Positive, a mode of operation where business activities do not contribute to ecological harm but actively seek to support nature restoration. However, there is still much uncertainty around how to get started on this.

Business For Biodiversity Ireland offers members guidance documents, aligned to prevailing frameworks and emerging directives, along with short thematic videos, case studies, a calendar of informative events and a quarterly forum to exchange knowledge, share challenges and work together to progress their journey.

The platform has been jointly seed-funded by the National Parks & Wildlife Service/ Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, and has developed its network with feedback from pilot businesses in its Community of Practice, including Bank of Ireland, Bus Eireann, ESB and more, with support from the National Biodiversity Data Centre and Business in the Community Ireland.

Free membership is offered for the first three months of 2024, so all Irish businesses are encouraged to sign up today. Welcoming the development, Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, said: “This platform brings businesses together across sectors to assess biodiversity impact, take strategic action and learn from international best practice in corporate biodiversity governance. All sectors of society need to come together to help implement Ireland’s new National Biodiversity Action Plan and I encourage all businesses to sign up to help protect, conserve and restore nature.”

Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister for Land Use and Biodiversity at the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, said: “The business community has a vital role to play in our response to the biodiversity crisis. The Business For Biodiversity Ireland platform will enable businesses to build awareness of both their impacts and their dependencies on biodiversity and empower them to have a positive impact on the communities in which they operate.”

Speaking at BFBI’s recent Community of Practice event in Portlaoise, Bus Éireann’s Sustainability Senior Manager Emer Bambrick said: “Our participation in the platform has greatly increased our understanding of Bus Éireann’s biodiversity-related risks and opportunities and helped to increase our alignment with global and national biodiversity goals and disclosure frameworks.”

Bank of Ireland ESG Communications Lead Lourda Sexton also commented: “Alongside climate change, biodiversity loss is one of the most critical challenges we now face. As businesses, we need to work together to tackle these challenges interdependently. At Bank of Ireland, we welcome the launch of the Business for Biodiversity Ireland platform and we’re delighted to be part of the pilot programme.”

Paul Giles, Commercial Director of SAP Landscapes said: “Participating in the pilot Community of Practice with Business for Biodiversity Ireland has been invaluable in helping us understand our role in protecting and restoring biodiversity. We have much more to learn and do but having the opportunity to collaborate with leading experts and other businesses has helped direct our approach and given us insights and tools that we will continue to use.”

Platform lead Lucy Gaffney added: “Nature positive is not a destination, it is a mindset – a way of working that ensures economic activity no longer harms the natural world but actively invests in its stewardship, protection and restoration.”

You can find more information at the Business For Biodiversity Ireland site.

For more information or to arrange an interview – email Lucy Gaffney: manager@businessforbiodiversity.ie or info@naturalcapitalireland.com

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