Why is biodiversity important to business?
Demonstrating a commitment to responsible development and conservation has never been more essential to managing business risk and opportunity.
Just as global demand is driving companies to expand into new markets and geographies, stakeholder awareness of the potential negative impacts of this expansion is also rising. The result is a call for greater corporate transparency and accountability.
Poor biodiversity performance can damage corporate reputations, thereby reducing consumer and investor support, complicating relations with regulators and potentially leading to increased costs and liability. This environmental track record can ultimately affect access to and retention of land and other natural resources, skilled labor, capital and markets.
How are businesses taking action?
In response, many leading businesses, industry associations, regulatory agencies and finance institutions are taking a proactive approach to understanding and managing environmental risks. Now, biodiversity assessments are incorporated into investment safeguard policies, operational and sourcing practices as well as sector certification systems.
What do I need to be successful?
The extent to which you can effectively assess, manage and report on corporate biodiversity risk will differentiate you among your competitors and ensure your continued license to operate. To do so, your businesses needs a convenient way to access and use the most up-to-date biodiversity information.
The Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) is an innovative decision support tool designed specifically to meet this need. Developed through a partnership comprising four highly respected environmental organizations, IBAT compiles critical biodiversity data in accordance with globally accepted standards. Now, instead of searching through multiple databases to identify biodiversity risks, your business can access this information through IBAT’s easy to use, online, mapping tool.
How can my business use IBAT?
IBAT helps businesses incorporate biodiversity considerations into key project planning and management decisions, including:
- Screening potential investments
- Siting an operation in a given region
- Developing action plans to manage for biodiversity impacts
- Assessing risks associated with potential sourcing regions
- Reporting on corporate biodiversity performance
How does IBAT work?
At its core, IBAT is a central database for globally recognized biodiversity information including Key Biodiversity Areas and Legally Protected Areas. Through an interactive mapping tool, decision-makers are able to easily access and use this up-to-date information to identify biodiversity risks and opportunities within a project boundary. Exportable maps make it easy for users to quickly share biodiversity assessment results, while downloadable data sets enable your business to conduct additional in-house analysis.
How will a subscription to IBAT benefit my business?
IBAT helps to streamline the project screening process and makes it easier to consider project alternatives at a time when such changes are still economically viable. During subsequent steps of the project life cycle, IBAT can also help to inform the research and baseline studies needed to effectively avoid, minimize and offset potential impacts.
IBAT is a partnership among BirdLife International, Conservation International, International Union for Conservation of Nature and United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre.