BSI standard links biodiversity and business objectives


BUSINESS standards company BSI has published a new standard to help businesses become more aware of how biodiversity issues can affect their environmental impact.
BS 8583, Biodiversity — Guidance for businesses on managing the opportunities and risks has been produced in association with BIS (Department of Business Innovation and Skills) and endorsed by Defra (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs). Until now there has been no guidance within or associated with any of the formal standards on sustainable development, social responsibility or environmental management.
The traditional perceptions of biodiversity are often associated with the environment and ecosystems but there are also implications for businesses. BS 8583 provides an explanation of what biodiversity is, and why its consideration is relevant to many businesses. Ultimately the more a business aligns itself with a sound biodiversity strategy, the more cost-effective it will be for its operations both long and short term.
Guidance is given on the global, national and local targets that have been set for biodiversity protection and enhancement. BS 8583 also advises on three general methods of biodiversity management: normal operations, supply chain management, and land/premises management.
David Fatscher, Head of Market Development for Sustainability at BSI said: “BS 8583 provides guidance on biodiversity issues that are likely to be relevant to different types of organization, methods available for assessing an organization’s impact (KPIs) and advice on planning for biodiversity protection and/or enhancement.”
BS 8583 includes:
· Examples of biodiversity opportunities and risks
· References to further guidance for different types of business and activity
· UK biodiversity policies
· UK initiatives and test sites
Corporate compliance officers, chief sustainability officers and social responsibility leaders will find the standard of great value as they manage their organizations’ performance in this area.
BS 8583 was developed following a consensus-based approach using leading authorities from the biodiversity sector. This included environmental management, ecology, environmental law, environmental impact assessments, construction, sustainable development, conservation and forestry experts.