Biodiversity

DEFINITION: The existence of a wide range of living organisms, such as animal and plants, in an environment. Biodiversity is important to the health of ecosystems as it provides food, materials and contributes to the economy.

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The Cerrado region, which once covered a quarter of Brazil, loses an area the size of London every two months

Tesco commits £10m to combat deforestation from soy production in Brazil

Tesco has committed £10m over the next five years to fund a new initiative to transition to producing deforestation-free soy in the Cerrado region in Brazil.

Extreme drought in Entrepenas reservoir, in Guadalajara, Castilla, Spain 

Europe's environment 'at a tipping point', EU agency says

Europe faces environmental challenges "of unprecedented scale and urgency," according to a comprehensive overview of air, land and water ecosystems published on Wednesday (4 December) by the European Environment Agency.

Global demand for soy is expected to increase 4% annually, mainly for its use as an ingredient in animal feed. Soy produced in the Amazon represents 10% of Brazil’s total soy production

Investors and businesses call for action to support deforestation-free soy in Brazil

A group of global investors and businesses, including Tesco, Mars and Sainsbury's, have signed a letter calling for the Brazilian Government and president Jair Bolsonaro to support a voluntary agreement that has limited deforestation from soy production in the country.

Flooding has caused havoc across the UK over the last few months

Flooding and coastal damages risking £12bn to UK economy

Rising sea levels, storms and flooding driven by climate change has placed more than £12bn of the UK's economy at risk, according to new findings from WWF which warns that almost 2.5 million homes in the UK will be at risk of flooding by 2050.

The challenge calls for businesses to invest in “nature-based solutions” such as enhancing biodiversity and reforestation to act as carbon sinks

Gucci boss calls on business leaders to deliver net-zero supply chains

Gucci chief executive Marco Bizzarri has called on business leaders to sign up to a Carbon Neutral Challenge that sees businesses deliver greenhouse gas emissions reductions across their entire value chain in order to achieve net-zero emissions.

Gough believes that corporates must make capitals thinking a core foundation for business decisions, rather than keeping it within a trial or side-project

'To truly embed sustainability, businesses must redefine value itself'

EXCLUSIVE: As ever more companies strive for sustainability which stretches beyond the confines of a separate CSR department, they will need to explore ways to define success beyond monetary value.

Rhea has been with NHS Property Services, where she works as one half of a two-person CSR team, for a year

Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2019: Rhea Horlock, NHS Property Services

This series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Next up: Rhea Horlock, CSR manager at NHS Property services.

Ghost gear is estimated to account for 46-70% of global macroplastic pollution, by weight

World's largest seafood firms pledge to tackle abandoned plastic fishing gear

A coalition of ten of the world's biggest seafood companies have joined a scheme connecting businesses, non-profits, scientists and public sector bodies in a bid to tackle the 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear abandoned in the world's oceans each year.

The bill builds on the 25 Year Plan for the Environment. Pictured: Derwentwater in the Lake District

Optimistic but lacking action: Green groups offer mixed reaction to Environment Bill

The Environment Bill has been published today and the reaction is already in from the UK's green business community on the legislation and its impact on corporate sustainability. 

The Government has unveiled how it plans to leave the environment in a better state 

Deposit return schemes and biodiversity net-gain: Raft of new policies unveiled in Environment Bill

The UK Government has launched its new governance system on issues covering clean air, waste management and plastics pollution, natural capital approaches and water stewardship, in the form of the long-awaited Environment Bill. 

More than four in ten species have experienced population decline since 1970, including puffins (pictured). Image: the National Trust 

Green Party declares 'nature emergency'

The Green Party has built on its declaration of a 'climate emergency' by declaring a 'nature emergency' in response to biodiversity decline.

Policies on energy, nature, waste and air quality are all at risk to Brexit

Post-Brexit threats to green policy intensifying, think tank warns

UK think tank Greener UK has warned that threats to environmental regulations related to climate change, waste, air quality and natural resources are escalating due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The funding will be allocated over a five-year period, starting this November. Image: HP

HP to fund restoration of 200,000 acres of forest

HP is set to invest $11m in forest restoration, protection and management schemes over the next five years, as part of its overarching ambition to ensure that every page printed using an HP printer will be "forest positive".

Collectively, the participating banks manage $47trn in assets. Image: Paulm27/ Wikimedia Commons

Banks representing one-third of global market to align with Paris climate targets

A coalition of 130 banks, representing one-third of the worldwide banking sector, have committed to aligning their actions with the aims of the Paris Agreement.

The policy framework aims to foster a "just" transition to net-zero

Green New Deal Bill launched by Lucas and Lewis

The full version of the so-called Green New Deal bill has been released by Green MP Caroline Lucas and Labour MP Clive Lewis as climate strikes continue across the UK.

Wellington city and harbour from Mount Victoria

Net-zero cities can unlock $24tn opportunity, report finds

Investment into readily available technologies could reduce emissions from cities by 90% by 2050, while creating a global economic benefit worth almost $24trn (£19trn), a new report has claimed.

Nestlé Headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. Image: Nestle flickr

Nestlé sets net-zero climate goal for 2050

Nestlé has today (12 September) unveiled wide-sweeping plans to enhance carbon sequestration, procure 100% renewable electricity and launch more food and drink products that have improved environmental footprints, as part of an overall goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The episode features three exclusive interviews, all exploring the alternative protein market. Images: BOL Foods and Soylent

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Peas Please and planet-saving diets

The latest episode of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast sees edie's content editor Matt Mace explore the rising popularity of veganism to help save the planet, featuring exclusive interviews with PwC, BOL Foods and Soylent.

Image: Parliament Live

September Spending Round: Javid promises green 'infrastructure revolution'

Sajid Javid has committed to helping the Government fund a green "infrastructure revolution" during his first solo Commons speech since becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The report predicts that the value of European agriculture could fall 16% in 30 years due to drought and higher rainfall

Benefits to farmers of global heating outweighed by losses, says report

Any advantages to European agriculture from a warming world will be outweighed by the losses from extreme events and environmental stress, leading to a probable large economic loss for farming in the next 30 years, research on the impacts of the climate crisis has found.

Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) states that there has been a total of 72,843 fires in Brazil this year 

Brazil president to reconsider $20m Amazon fire aid, provided Macron apologies for 'insults'

Having originally rejected the $20m (£16m) international climate aid pledged offered at the G7 summit, Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro has announced he could reconsider the offer, but only if French President Emmanuel Macron apologies for "insulting" him.

IEMA claims that important UK regulators operating with, on average, 50% less funding than ten years ago. Images: Unchecked.uk

IEMA: Funding cuts threatening UK's green spaces and biodiversity

Government funding for bodies such as Natural England, the Environment Agency and National Parks has fallen steeply in recent years, leaving the UK at risk of failing to meet key green policy objectives.

The Amazon river basin is “challenged by a lack of co-ordinated investment programmes” and needs to “improve co-ordinated pollution control mechanisms”, the report states

Report: Move water to top of political agenda to deliver environmental and social wins

With more than half of the world's populations set to live in water-scarce regions by 2050, a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has called on policymakers to place water stewardship at the heart of regional and bilateral policy decisions to create various economic, environmental and societal benefits.

Tree planting above Gorpley reservoir in Calderdale where up to 200,000 trees will be planted Image: Yorkshire Water

UK water companies to plant 11 million trees to assist carbon-neutral aims

A host of major UK water companies, local authorities and NGOs have today (15 August) teamed on a new tree-planting initiative that will assist the delivery of a carbon-neutral water industry by 2030.

Humans use around 72% of the world’s ice-free land surface, the IPCC concluded 

IPCC: Shift in land use crucial to avert climate emergency

The systemic ways in which global businesses are using land is a "major contributor" to climate change and must be radically transformed if the aims of the Paris Agreement to be met.

One-planet compatibility is also a way to demonstrate companies’ comprehensive contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the report added

Earth Overshoot Day: What is the business case for one-planet compatibility?

Monday 29 July will mark Earth Overshoot Day - the day that humanity uses up all of the planet's natural resources for the year and the earliest it has ever occurred. In response, a new whitepaper explores how business can champion energy efficiency and the circular economy to become one-planet compatible.

The survey was carried out on 4 June 

Survey: Majority of Brits want 'urgent' policy action on climate change

The vast majority of the British public would like to see politicians take more "urgent action" to tackle climate challenges and mass biodiversity loss, a new survey has found.

Francesca Osowska warned of abandoned rural areas

'Radical action by 2030' needed to tackle Scotland's climate challenges

The head of Scotland's nature conservation agency has warned the country faces an "apocalyse" of flooded towns, dead forests and polluted rivers unless urgent action is taken to cut CO2 emissions.

Subsidies to restore woodlands and meadows would also boost wildlife, says Rewilding Britain

Rewild a quarter of UK to fight climate crisis, campaigners urge

A quarter of the UK's land could be restored to nature, making a significant contribution towards cutting the nation's carbon emissions to zero, under a new rewilding proposal.

<p>Some developers have already voluntarily adopted a net-gain approach to biodiversity, but the Government looks set to mandate it by law. Image: Berkley Group</p>

Natural Capital Committee: Biodiversity net-gain must not rely on offsetting

The UK Government's independent advisor on natural capital has criticised proposals put forward by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) that would require developers to pay for biodiversity offsets in other regions if their projects result in habitat loss.

<p>Navarro has a strong track record when it comes to innovation and was the head of customer innovation for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)</p>

Innovation shift: Why radical change must focus on entire value chains

Current efforts to introduce new waves of innovation that address key climate issues need to be "scientific, scalable and systemic" with a focus on industry-wide collaboration, according to the chief executive of a corporate system's accelerator aiming to transform sustainability across 10 industry value chains.

The ocean emergency has grown as a decline in biodiversity, warming and plastic pollution has impacted their health

'Spectacular failure': Green groups respond to government's Marine Strategy

Conservation and environmental lobby groups have heavily criticised the government's revised UK Marine Strategy, saying that politicians need to radically revise their plans to tackle the growing emergency.

The report by Dasgupta was first announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond during the Spring Statement

UK urged to take lead on biodiversity as UN issues urgent warning

The British government has commissioned Sir Partha Dasgupta, a professor at Cambridge University, to write a report on the economic case for biodiversity as policymakers across the planet are urged to step up efforts to reverse the alarming decline of the natural world.

The oil and gas, consumer goods, industrial and healthcare sectors were deemed to be at high financial risk from natural impacts such as extreme weather events and biodiversity loss

Three-quarters of UK FTSE All-Share firms 'highly dependent' on natural capital

Almost three-quarters (74%) of UK businesses listed on the FTSE All-Share Index have been dubbed "potentially highly dependent" on natural resources such as clean air, water and soil in a new study on nature-related business risks.

Shell commits $300m to conservation and carbon offset projects

Oil giant Shell has unveiled plans to invest $300m over the next three years on conservation and carbon offset projects in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint by up to 3%.

The Good Times from a Good Place strategy has various goals to be achieved by 2025 and 2030

Pernod Ricard targets SDGs and regenerative agriculture as part of 2030 goals

Beverage giant Pernod Ricard has today (3 April) launched a new sustainability roadmap aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that commits to ambitious new targets relating to regenerative agriculture and biodiversity, recyclable packaging and a science-based carbon target.

With the world’s population widely expected to grow to more than nine billion people by 2050, demand for protein and, therefore, soy, is set to grow exponentially

Aldi targets 100% sustainably sourced soy by 2025

Supermarket chain Aldi has pledged to source 100% sustainably certified soy across its supply chain by 2025, including soy used as animal feed.

Melendez believes that regenerative practices will provide benefits for farmers located down the supply chain

Why General Mills want supply chains to become regenerative stewards of the environment

Faced with a growing global population and strains on depleted natural resources, US food producer General Mills plans to equip its supply chain farmers with the knowledge and tools to move from practices that mitigate environmental degradation to regenerative approaches.

Failure to protect wildlife, cut pollution and increase funding have left nature in a ‘deep crisis’, the report warns

UK will miss almost all its 2020 nature targets, says official report

The UK will miss almost all the 2020 nature targets it signed up to a decade ago, according to a report by the Government's official advisers.

The pilot scheme's approach has been described as “going beyond simply aiming to minimise impact

Alpro and WWF pilot new nature-focused science-based target scheme

A pilot project has been set up to take science-based targets to the next level and "respect planetary boundaries" by WWF and food and drink firm Alpro.

Emma serves on a number of boards and advisory committees which include:
ShareAction, Menhaden Capital, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project and the Green Finance Institute

Emma Howard Boyd reappointed as Environment Agency chair

Emma Howard Boyd has been reappointed as the chair of the Environment Agency (EA) by Secretary of State Michael Gove, with her second term set to run until September 2022.

School-age strikers are out in force again today (15 March), campaigning for policy action on climate change

WATCH: Michael Gove, Claire Perry and Paul Polman support school climate strikes

Conservative MPs, Government Ministers and green business leaders have today (15 March) come out in support of students that are missing school and going on strike for a second time in the fight against climate change.

Biodiversity was the big talking point from the Spring Statement

Fiddling the margins or a powerful signal? The green economy reacts to the Spring Statement

Chancellor Philip Hammond has today (13 March) unveiled new measures to champion biodiversity and drive resilience in the UK's housing stock as part of his Spring Statement, but reactions suggest the Government is still moving too slowly.

A full three-year spending review is scheduled for later this year to outline what funds will be available for each government department from 2020

Spring Statement: Chancellor unveils biodiversity plans and low-carbon homes requirements

BREAKING: Chancellor Philip Hammond has today (13 March) pledged to implement legislation requiring developers to deliver biodiversity net-gain through all projects in his 2019 Spring Statement, which also includes a review into the economic benefits of environmental conservation.

edie has provided a round-up of the areas where Chancellor Philip Hammond could deliver for the green economy – plus the green measures set to be notably absent from the Spring Statement. Image EU2017EE Flickr

Spring Statement: What can the green economy expect from Philip Hammond's announcement?

Investment in a national net-zero target? New energy efficiency measures for homes? edie previews the green-related announcements likely to be included in the Spring Statement on Wednesday (13 March).

A 10-week Defra consultation exploring whether property developers should be required to deliver a

Built environment sector calls for biodiversity focus in upcoming Environment Bill

A group of UK built environment businesses have penned a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, calling on future legislation to boost economic growth through restorative planning that benefits the environment.

The report argues that megatrends such as population growth and migration have caused a

Plastics and biodiversity: Forum for the Future spotlights sustainability's biggest challenges

Global non-profit Forum for the Future has named plastic pollution and biodiversity loss as two of the "fundamental" sustainability challenges of the 2020s, arguing that governments and corporates have not yet adopted holistic, long-term solutions to these issues.

The report warns that the plants, insects and organisms considered crucial to food production are in 'steep decline'

World's food supply under 'severe threat' from loss of biodiversity, UN warns

The world's capacity to produce food is being undermined by humanity's failure to protect biodiversity, according to the first UN study of the plants, animals and micro-organisms that help to put meals on our plates.

edie rounds up the key facts outlined in the IPPR's 'this is a crisis' report

#ThisIsACrisis: 7 harsh realities of the global climate crisis

As humanity's negative impacts on the planet continue to grow, a new landmark report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is warning that the time period we have left to avert an "age of environmental breakdown" is growing rapidly smaller. Here, edie rounds up seven of the report's key findings.

Roydon Common Nature Reserve

Agency protecting English environment reaches 'crisis point'

Thousands of environmentally important sites across England are coming under threat as the government body charged with their care struggles with understaffing, slashed budgets and an increasing workload.

Blueprint for Water is urging water utilities to adopt a natural capital approachm, placing a financial value on natural resources

Water companies urged to 'up their game' on pollution and natural capital through to 2025

The UK water sector has stepped up its environmental ambition in the current business planning period, but gaps remain when it comes to reducing sewage pollution incidents and factoring in the value of natural capital.

The Office for Environmental Protection will have the power to bring legal proceedings against the government

Government urged to address funding and data concerns for post-Brexit environment watchdog

The UK Government has been urged to equip any new watchdog for future environmental standards with adequate funding and performance measuring qualities, a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has claimed.

Yorkshire Water committed in 2018 to plant one million trees by 2028

Yorkshire Water plants first of a million trees to help prevent floods

More than 14,000 trees were planted at Ogden Water last month as part of Yorkshire Water's "big goal" for the environment, which aims to create new "green infrastructure".

This weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Just Eat's e-scooters and solar-powered smart homes: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

The charities warn that protection for marine life could be weakened under the amendments 

Charities launch legal challenge over 'unlawful' Brexit wildlife risk

ClientEarth and the Marine Conservation Society have launched a High Court challenge over the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra's) changes to Brexit negotiations, which potentially limit the types of areas set aside for marine protection.

Webinar: Achieving a sustainable built environment: Learning from the leaders

Following the publication of edie's insight report which investigated the future of sustainable construction, this one-hour webinar brings together industry leaders and experts to discuss the various challenges and opportunities facing low-carbon, resource-efficient construction.

The latest iteration of the annual report ranks 150 global companies across four key animal ethics areas. Image: Sam Frost/WSPA

Report: British firms leading animal welfare practices, but laggards remain

Some of the UK's largest food firms, including Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Cranswick, have been named as the corporate leaders on animal welfare issues in a new report which names the likes of Mars, Subway and Starbucks as laggards in this space.

The bill builds on the 25 Year Plan for the Environment. Pictured: Derwentwater in the Lake District

Environment Bill passes second reading against widespread criticism from MPs

The UK Government's Environment Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons and will now move to committee stage, following a vigorous debate between MPs on the legislation.

Speaking exclusively to edie, Gamboa said that the report acts as a market signal for how companies within the built environment sector should act

Embodied carbon: WorldGBC embarks on 'radical' new approach towards net-zero

EXCLUSIVE: The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has issued a new report outlining how companies in the sector can focus on both operational and embodied carbon to reach net-zero emission buildings by 2050, warning the companies ignoring this new approach could be "outpaced by the innovators".

edie recaps a week of major policy announcement 

CCS, food waste and deposit return schemes: Recapping a week of major green policy announcements

As Boris Johnson settles into his first day as the UK Prime Minister, Defra, the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have released a flurry of documents to strengthen approaches to environmental regulation, energy policy and packaging production.

A motion was passed by the House of Commons yesterday to declare a climate change emergency

What is a 'climate emergency'?

The UK has declared a climate emergency for the national government in Westminster and devolved administrations of Scotland and Wales. But what does it mean?

Mission Possible: Achieving a sustainable future for hospitality and leisure

This brand-new sector insight report provides a comprehensive overview of the steps that organisations within Britain's hospitality and leisure sector can take to achieve a sustainable future, today.

Humanity is currently extracting natural resources three times more rapidly than in 1970, UN Environment has warned

Resource extraction responsible for half world's carbon emissions

Extraction industries are responsible for half of the world's carbon emissions and more than 80% of biodiversity loss, according to the most comprehensive environmental tally undertaken of mining and farming.

Click on the link to download the policy manifesto matrix

General Election 2019 manifesto matrix: What have the parties said on net-zero and the environment?

Two weeks out from the General Election and on the day of the live televised climate debate between party leaders, edie has launched a policy manifesto matrix, outlining all the key commitments - and some notable omissions - that the Conservatives, Labour, Green Party and Liberal Democrats have issued.

the WorldGBC, Landsec and Workspace are forming different but collective paths to net-zero

The collaborative push for net-zero emissions in the built environment

For Net-Zero November, edie sits down with a mainstay sustainability leader, a disruptive new firm and the organisation coordinating an entire sector to see how the built environment can collaboratively transition to a net-zero economy.

According to the IPCC, farming has been the driver of 75% of deforestation by area size to date. Stock image of a farm in Bavaria

2,500 scientists urge EU to reform environmentally 'damaging' agriculture policy

More than 2,500 European scientists have joined forces and reached out to the EU parliament in a letter urging it to "act on the science and undertake a far-reaching reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) without delay".