Businesses for Biodiversity

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Businesses for Biodiversity: Enhancing Capacity of Businesses under Leaders for Nature project

New Delhi, IndiaMultiple states, India
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We are loosing Biodiversity at a very high rate. Businesses have high impact and dependency on Biodiversity. The idea is to proactively engage with the businesses, to build their capacity, to enable them and their value chains, in reducing their impacts on Biodiversity.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if 'sensitized businesses' become saviors of biodiversity and save ecosystems which providing us food, water, medicines and many other other ecosystem services ?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Biodiversity, the basis of life and our resilience to different shocks on earth, is immensely at risk. Corporates are key stakeholders as they have high footprints on Biodiversity (Mining, Oil & gas, Infra. Development) or they are highly dependent on it (Pharmaceuticals, Food and Beverage , Tourism,) or they can influence or drive (Research & Consul., Finance) change. The project aims to sensitize and guide business to take care of biodiversity.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

By engaging Businesses in dialogue to assess their Biodiversity Impact and dependencies and to enable them to formulate right strategies to take care of biodiversity in their operations and in their value chain, biodiversity loss can be reduced. Under this process different sector specific workshops, training and campaigns will be undertaken to help business sectors: • to realize the biodiversity loss happening around them • to map their sectors’ footprint on the loss • to identify strategies how they can formulate ecologically responsible business strategies • designing transformed products, those having lower or minimal ecological footprints • Corporate, Consumer interface will be created to ensure collaborative conservation
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Currently this program is being run by IUCN India with 9 companies. The Program has conducted 5 master classes and multiple incompany sessions to build capacity of member companies. Topics covered so far are ‘Business and Ecosystem Linkages’; ‘Corporate Ecosystem Services Review’; ‘Biodiversity Reporting’, ‘Valuing Natural Capital’; ‘Eco-restoration opportunities in Aravali, to reduce the water stress in Gurgaon the Corporate Hub’ ; ‘Engaging businesses to enhance conservation on the east coast of India’. Recently a series of incompany sessions were undertaken, in collaboration with WBCSD to train 60 professionals of 9 large scale cement companies , introducing IBMS and BIRS to enable them to take biodiversity informed mgt. decisions.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Currently we are intensively building capacity of 9 companies. In growth phase, it will be an improved version and project will target sectors to bring sectoral impacts. It will organize training, workshops and campaigns to engage with (A) Real Estate, IT Campuses, Educational Institutions, to focus on urban biodiversity with a goal to enhance specie richness & specie abundance. (B)Food and Beverage company,Pharmaceuticals; Agri Business, to focus on flora and fauna diversity, importance of Key Stone species, Importance of Ecosystem Services and restoration of regionally important eco-systems for reviving ecosystem services (C) Extractive Sectors to focus on degraded landscapes, (D)Research and Consultancy, Banks to garner larger support through science and economics based arguments. Thus in next two years 40 companies are envisaged to be covered, influencing their corporate policies.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The main spread strategy is to take up high scale campaigns in Growth Phase and engage with sectoral associations like CREDAI for Real Estate, Tea and Agri boards for Agribusiness, FIMI for mining, thus engaging with good number of businesses and other stakeholders, to accomplish the desired vision. Key ecosystems will be identified for restoration, to conserve biodiversity and to revive ecosystem services, with help of businesses. A large number of corporate policies is thus visualized to be influenced in favor of biodiversity and health of millions of consumers.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

This program was getting a modest grant from IUCN NL, which is ending with the closure of year 2015. The program still needs some support so that it could gain required number of business members, who could get benefits from the capacity building programs of LfN and start paying for its services to make the program sustainable.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are different Business sustainability networks but they largely are working around Buzz Words and fail to identify regional or sectoral problems to sensitize and guide businesses to work towards their solutions. Our approach is to identify such issues and create strong interface of experts, nature based solutions and a model ensuring participation of people, private sector and govt (where possible). Our last two master classes focused on regional problems where business can contribute. In Incompany sessions companies we introduce very useful biodiversity mgt tools for businesses.

Founding Story

This program was initially launched by IUCN NL in netherlands in 2005. Seeing the potential of program, it was also launched in India in last quarter of 2013.Though the initial phase was a slow start and businesses took time to join the network but now the businesses are able to see the value of this program and are coming up with higher interest. With the changes coming in bilateral and multilateral funding situations, funding for this program will also dry up by the end of 2015. However the program still need support to achieve stage of self sustenance. An external support will help it to survive.


The team comprises of 1 full time coordinator , One full time intern , Three to Five part time trainers and other local ecosystem experts. The team is guided by steering committee having five institutions --WTI, CII, IUCN India, Hivos and IUCN NL. There won't be any expansion in team in growth phase.