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The Strategic Interveners

A M O NT H L Y T H OU G H T -L E AF JULY 2010
Biodiversity – The Corporate Role
Mr. Dhruva Trivedy, Chief Intervener &
Biodiversity is at the core of sustainable development. It impacts the quality of human life Promoter of PERCON is presently advising
and is an essential component to the sustainability of all human activity, including business. We Hubert Ebner (India) Pvt. Ltd. as their
wish to attract the attention of the business community to the importance of biodiversity. Country Head.
In June 1997, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the World Business Council for
Sustainable Development (WBCSD) produced Business and Biodiversity, A Guide for the HE (India) is an Indo-Austrian Joint venture
Private Sector. This report provided many insights into why businesses should be involved in set up to address the issue of road safety in
the biodiversity debate and suggested how they could best participate. The 1992 Convention on India, curtailing the amount of road crashes
Biological Diversity (CBD), the core international agreement on biodiversity, established the by creating awareness and giving specialized training to
three components of biodiversity, namely: ecosystems, species and genes. The Convention also drivers of all kinds of vehicles.
establishes the three fundamental objectives for biodiversity:
 Conservation of biodiversity,
 Sustainable use of biological resources, and
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
 Equitable sharing of biodiversity benefits.
Biodiversity is everywhere and it is everyone’s responsibility. Biodiversity is more than
just the reasoned use of nature and natural resources by the resource extraction companies. There is something fundamentally
Financial institutions, consumer goods companies, service organisations and the information wrong with treating the earth as if it
technology sector can all contribute to the fundamental objectives. It is our hope that a wider
cross-section of the private sector will accept the challenge, integrate biodiversity concerns into were a business in liquidation.
their management systems, and take action to conserve biodiversity that is at the core of our Herman Daly
planet’s ability to sustain future generations. American Ecological Economist
Sustainable development is all about meeting the needs of present generations while
safeguarding the ecosystems, species and genetic components that make up biodiversity, a
crucial factor in meeting the needs of future generations.
Today, there is widespread recognition within businesses that economic or financial
PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH
success is inextricably linked to environmental and social performance. Though not yet part of
mainstream thinking, all companies, to some extent, are paying attention to what is often A school teacher scolded a
referred to as ‘corporate social responsibility’. In so doing, companies are striving to address boy for not paying
the three dimensions of sustainability – environmental, economic and social – also known as attention to his
the triple bottom line. Companies, such as Shell and ING Bank have adopted a slogan – planet,
mathematics and for not
profits, and people – for promoting this approach.
The three fundamental objectives mentioned above are, in fact, fully compatible with being able to solve simple
perspectives on sustainability including sustainable business, sustainable finance and problems. She told him that
sustainable development. Moreover, biodiversity is not something in addition to corporate he would not become
social responsibility, but rather it is an issue that companies need to consider as an integral anybody in life.
part of their corporate social responsibility and sustainability programmes.
Biodiversity issues are part of the wider environmental management requirements of His mother, however
companies. Like other environmental issues, the ‘drivers’ of the business case for biodiversity believed in him and
can be viewed in terms of risks and opportunities. For most companies, the first questions to be
coached him in maths. Albert Einstein
asked with respect to an environmental issue often relate to risk. By not addressing
biodiversity adequately, a company’s position in the marketplace – and indeed its profitability –
can be threatened by such risks as:
 Challenges to its legal license to operate, LAUGHING TIME
 Disruption of its supply chain,
 Damage to the brand image, All Is Fair In Business
 Consumer boycotts and campaigns by environmental NGOs,
 Fines, third party claims for environmental damages and future environmental A shopkeeper was dismayed when a brand new business
liabilities, much like his own opened up next door and erected a huge
sign which read 'BEST DEALS.' He was horrified when
 Lower ratings in the financial markets, and
another competitor opened up on his right, and announced
 Poor staff morale and reduced productivity.
its arrival with an even larger sign, reading 'LOWEST PRICES.'
There are numerous examples of biodiversity risk, ranging from Shell’s highly publicised
The shopkeeper panicked, until he got an idea. He put the
row with Greenpeace over the sinking of Brent Spar, an abandoned oil-rig, to the investment of
biggest sign of all over his own shop. It read:
the International Finance Corporation, the private arm of the World Bank Group, in a
'MAIN ENTRANCE'
controversial mining project in Chile. Managing biodiversity risk is, of course, a key part of the
business case for biodiversity.
PERCON takes a more forward-looking approach and views biodiversity not solely from THINKING TIME
the perspective of environmental compliance and financial risk, but also from the perspective
of business opportunity. It aides in evolving the return on investment that ensures increase in What is the name of the NGO run by Bill
the effectiveness of conservation prioritisations.
Gates & his wife?
This is an excerpt from the report released by Earthwatch Europe, IUCN – The World Conservation Union and the World Business
Council for Sustainable Development.
Send us your answers with Name, Designation, Company
& Contact Details at info@percontsi.com
ECO TRIVIA OF THE MONTH CARTOON OF THE MONTH
CONGRATULATIONS
THE GANGETIC DOLPHIN Last Month’s Winner
Suman Goswami, Manager Placement & Corporate Relations,
IILM Business School.

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