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Identifying opportunities to deliver effective and efficient outcomes from business-biodiversity action

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Change log


White, TB 
Mukherjee, N 
Petrovan, SO 
Sutherland, WJ 


Business-biodiversity action is increasingly seen as critical for delivering conservation goals, but such action needs to be effective. Using detailed semi-structured interviews with leading business-biodiversity professionals and consultants we aimed to understand the actions currently taken and why, how actions are decided upon, and current challenges that hinder effective, efficient action.

The scale and type of action varied by sector, driven largely by the risks (reputational, financial) of inaction. Cost-effectiveness was important to businesses, but the limited quantification of the economic consequences of biodiversity action hindered uptake. Indirect evidence sources were generally used to guide decision-making including using expert consultants, guidance, standards or certifications. Acquiring better evidence of cost-effectiveness, particularly if embedded within these indirect sources, could improve practice.

A diverse set of challenges emerged that impeded business engagement with biodiversity, effective decision-making, and action implementation. We discuss opportunities to address them and thus improve the effectiveness of business-biodiversity action.



Business-biodiversity, Impact mitigation, Evidence-based decision making, Cost-effectiveness, ESG

Journal Title

Environmental Science and Policy

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Elsevier BV
Arcadia Fund (AE3756)
T.B.W’s PhD funded by the Balfour Studentship, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. W.J.S & S.O.P's research received funding from The David and Claudia Harding Foundation, MAVA, the A. G. Leventis Foundation, and Arcadia.