Making the Business Case for Biodiversity Redevelopment
At a Glance
One of the toughest challenges that corporate stewards of the environment face is the bottom line. How much will a project cost and what will the return on investment be for the corporation? Most corporations are not going to take on an environmental project unless there is some tangible return on investment. However, corporations and commercial property owners around the globe now recognize the benefits of enhanced biodiversity and ecology-based design that connects people to nature in outdoor spaces that are vibrant, rich, and alive with sounds of nature.
In our previous article, “The Significance of Biodiversity: Why Corporations Should Care and Why It Matters for the Planet” we discussed biodiversity programs as part of a corporation’s ESG program and the benefits of these programs such as increased employee retention, improved return on investment (ROI), and risk reduction. We are not the only ones talking about the benefits of biodiversity; 196 countries agreed upon the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework which aims to halt and start to reverse nature loss by 2030 and to live in harmony with nature by 2050. More recently, The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has developed recommendations and guidance for organizations that will enable businesses to integrate nature into decision making, and ultimately support a shift in global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and toward nature-positive outcomes.
Its not just not-for-profits and “think tanks” that are talking about the benefits of biodiversity, financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Asset Management and Morgan Stanley have published articles about investing in biodiversity.
“Industries that rely directly on nature for their output, such as agriculture and construction, face clear risks from biodiversity loss. For example, 60% of coffee varieties are in danger of extinction due to climate change, disease and deforestation, threatening the farmers who produce the beans and a lucrative global market, the report shows. Even industries whose output is less directly dependent on nature, such as chemicals, tourism and consumer goods, can face significant “hidden dependencies” through their supply chains,” states Goldman Sachs. Morgan Stanley’s analysts encourage investors to use a risk-management framework to weigh the costs of biodiversity loss on their portfolios, and sees “investment opportunities in more than 100 stocks linked to the three key drivers of biodiversity loss—land-use change, climate change and pollution.” And JPMorgan’s team takes a similar approach: “When thinking about biodiversity investing, investors should look at its double materiality (the impact of corporates on biodiversity, and the impact of biodiversity loss on corporates). This double materiality implies that biodiversity investing can be used to identify opportunities and to mitigate risk.”
How GZA can help
GZA’s integrated team of ecologists, environmental scientists and landscape architects help clients:
- Understand how a biodiversity restoration plan can help their business and comply with government regulations
- Analyze property site(s) and create a biodiversity baseline inventory
- Develop an ecological restoration plan based on the data collected
- Design site specific habitat improvement solutions and plant recommendations
- Oversee the implementation of the restoration design
- Manage adaptation and benchmark targets to measure success
We have worked with corporations such as “L’Oréal for the Future,” which strives for 100% of their industrial facilities to document measurable increases in biodiversity within their local environment by 2030. GZA has recently completed a three-season (spring, summer, fall), 16-site survey of L’Oréal distribution and production facilities, including 14 in the U.S. and two in Canada.
GZA is committed to using our ecological expertise and creative approaches to achieve client objectives while protecting, restoring, and improving the natural environment and its biodiversity.
Overall, the importance of biodiversity for our planet cannot be overstated. Protecting and preserving biodiversity is essential for the health and well-being of both natural ecosystems and human societies. Governments, corporations and financial institutions are now seeing the value of investing in biodiversity. Reach out to Blaine Rothauser and learn how GZA can help you develop and reach biodiversity and habitat restoration goals.