Biodiversity a blind spot for majority of organizations worldwide

12 October 2023 Consultancy.eu 4 min. read

Only a quarter of organizations worldwide have devised strategies to address biodiversity loss. That is according to a new report from Capgemini, which surveyed the attitudes towards biodiversity of 2,000 executives in 12 countries.

With the ongoing climate crisis putting immense pressure on organizations to address their impact on the environment, 86% of executives reported that they believed biodiversity is important to the planet. Despite that, very few organizations have actually done anything about it, with notably fewer executives (63%) saying they believed biodiversity was important to their own company.

Only 16% of organizations have assessed the impact on biodiversity of their supply chains and only 20% for their operations. And only around a quarter of companies have devised strategies for addressing negative impacts on biodiversity, with countries like Australia (15%), Germany (16%), Canada (17%) and Italy (18%) lagging behind.

% of executives who way biodiversity is imporatant to the entities below

“Every business depends on biodiversity and ecosystems: whether it is direct inputs such as water or fibers, or ‘ecosystem services’ like water regulation or soil fertility, a thriving and functioning biosphere is critical to human well-being, wider sustainability goals as well as economic growth and stability. However, many organizations underestimate their direct impact on biodiversity loss, and their responsibility in protecting and restoring it,” said Cyril Garcia, board member at Capgemini.

According to the survey, almost 9 out of 10 executives say they understand that climate change and biodiversity are connected, with 88% believing that preserving biodiversity can help tackle climate change.

But despite that, concerns about climate change take center stage, to the detriment of more focus on biodiversity. 57% of executives feel customers care more about climate change, and 56% think the same about employees. Also, over half of the surveyed executives (53%) see biodiversity as less of a priority than climate change.

% of executives who agree with the following statements

Despite the huge impact industry has on loss of biodiversity, habitat loss, and other damage to the environment, a majority of the executives surveyed said that they agree it is not the role of a private company to address biodiversity.

Some companies, in contrast, have already actively been investing large sums into biodiversity projects. For example, Apple has doubled its total commitment to advancing nature-based carbon-removal projects and invested $200 million in a project that aims to protect critical ecosystems. Amazon also invested $100 million into their own project, created in 2019, which looks to restore and conserve forests, wetlands, and grasslands.

% OF EXECUTIVES WHO AGREE THAT IT IS NOT THE ROLE OF A PRIVATE COMPANY TO ADDRESS BIODIVERSITY, JUST TO FOLLOW BIODIVERSITY REGULATION

Breaking it down by industries, 26% of companies in the consumer goods sector have looked into how their operations affect biodiversity – the most among all sectors. On the flip side, the public/government sector is at the bottom with only 14% doing the same.

When it comes to supply chains, the retail sector is leading the pack, with a 26% completion rate for impact assessments. Meanwhile, agriculture and forestry are lagging behind, with only 10% completing their assessments.

“It’s time for businesses to proactively address the issue and get ahead of mandatory regulations that are on the way, especially as many solutions and frameworks such as the Task Force on Nature-related risks Disclosure and regenerative practices are already available to help protect biodiversity. Collaboration, investment and innovation will be key to helping organizations identify and implement strategies for biodiversity protection and preservation,” said Garcia.