The way forward for businesses

Policy brief: integrating biodiversity into sustainable production and consumption activities

  • Dr. Jenny Teufel
    Senior Researcher / Gruppenleiterin Nachhaltige Ernährungssysteme & Lebensweisen Produkte & Stoffströme

Key messages

  • Biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystem services (ES) are among the greatest systemic risks to the global economy and the health of people and the planet.
  • Protecting and restoring biodiversity is vital to avoiding future pandemics while tackling other global environmental challenges like climate change or land loss.
  • Meeting the growing demand for agricultural commodities, biogenic resources and minerals
  • has severe and significant impacts on biodiversity and on the provision of ecosystem services, on which business actors rely.
  • There is urgent need to re-think consumption and production and take action to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services. The benefits of strong and early action outweigh the costs.
  • Businesses must become game changers in shaping the required transformation towards sustainable production and consumption. The following action points describe ways to integrate the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services into business activities:
  • Systematically integrate protection, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity into business models. Risk management shall be improved through impact assessments, goal setting and developing tailored approaches to biodiversity protection.
  • Ensure transparency and traceability, as well as efficient use of materials along the value chains to guarantee sustainable production and, moreover, to gain the trust of consumers on the basis of reliable and verifiable information.
  • Consistently integrate the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services at all stages of the product life cycle. Establishing circularity and durability as pivotal aspects in product design can reduce pressure on material consumption and associated impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Engage and participate in business coalitions for biodiversity to increase adoption of best-practices and to promote the wider dissemination of measures for biodiversity protection and restoration.
  • Use sustainability standards that include ambitious biodiversity protection criteria and independent certification systems for reliable consumer communication.