Biodiversity and Ethical Business

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2007 - Integrating Biodiversity into Business Strategy

This report by Orée and the French Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité (FRB) calls for regulatory efforts and constructive business projects based on an appropriate Biodiversity Accounting framework in order to reach “coviability” of biodiversity and business activity.


Integrating Biodiversity into Business Strategy


Joël Houdet


Orée, Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité (FRB)




Reconciling economic activity with biodiversity calls for a twofold initiative: encouraging businesses to take action and creating new methods for them to do so. “Integrating biodiversity into business strategies” is designed to meet this dual need. The research performed by the Orée-Institut français de la biodiversité Working Group has confirmed that biodiversity underpins the development of a great number of enterprises. Self-assessments, through the application of the Business and Biodiversity Interdependence Indicator, present the self-perceptions of a range of businesses and local governments relative to their interdependence with biodiversity. These self-perceptions underline the fact that the economy as a whole interacts directly and indirectly with living systems. It is commonly supposed that biodiversity can be sustained by putting a price on it. In reality this is a counterproductive approach. The method proposed by the “Bilan Carbone” measures the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by all the physical processes required to sustain specific human activities or organisations, insofar as their boundaries are clearly definable. It does not, and is not designed to take account of the interactions between living systems and businesses. The Biodiversity Accountability Framework is thus proposed as an alternative, interdisciplinary method, structured to highlight and delimit the responsibility of organisations to ecosystems.