A biodiversity dependency refers to a business reliance on or use of biodiversity. Different sectors may have different biodiversity dependencies. For instance, the pharmaceutical sector may rely on genetic resources while the agricultural sector may rely on domesticated and / or wild pollinators. Biodiversity dependencies include:
A biodiversity impact refers to a positive or negative change in biodiversity due to business activities. Different sectors may have different biodiversity impacts. Some industries may direct biodiversity impacts, such as the agricultural, infrastructure, property development / construction and mining sectors through their land footprints. Others may have indirect impacts through the activities of their supply chains or clients, such as the retail (e.g., impacts related to the production or harvesting of fresh foods) and financial (e.g., project finance deals related to energy production, mining or infrastructure) sectors.
Biodiversity impacts relate to changes in:
A biodiversity impact is different from an impact driver. To effectively manage biodiversity impacts, it is critical to understand the underlying impact drivers. We define an impact driver as a measurable quantity of an input to (e.g. volume of water and surface area used for agricultural production), or non-product output from (e.g. litres of water emissions released into a river by a manufacturing facility) a business activity. This implies that:
- Land use change, directly by land intensive sectors (e.g. agriculture, property development, infrastructure, mining) and indirectly by sectors further down the supply chains (e.g. retail, manufacturing, banking, insurance);
- Invasive alien species, introduced or mismanaged, intentionally or not;
- Water use and emissions by various industries, such as energy, mining, foods and beverages, textiles, etc.; and
- Greenhouse gas emissions leading to climate change and hence changes in the distributions of species.
Download the new report “Invitation to join the Biodiversity Disclosure Project - A study of the biodiversity performance of South African companies”.
So as to be able to identify the biodiversity dependencies and impacts of your business, we invite you to consult the forthcoming guidance document for this second step of our biodiversity mainstreaming guidelines. This should help you: