Supporting business to go beyond regulation for biodiversity  back to the theme


EKLIPSE is inviting scientists, policy makers, practitioners and other societal actors to share their knowledge on the following request:


What approaches can environmental regulators use to enhance environmental sustainability and improve outcomes for biodiversity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food and drink sector of Europe and what are the advantages and disadvantages?


What's it all about?

The objective is to identify the range of approaches, from environmental compliance to voluntary agreements, available to enhance sustainability and biodiversity conservation; identify lessons learned from case studies where particular approaches have been applied with certain types of SMEs, and an analysis of what has worked or not, why and how?

This request was submitted by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). As a starting point, therefore you may find it useful to have a look at SEPA's new regulatory strategy "One Planet Prosperity", developing a vision to enhance environmental sutainability of Scottish businesses (see the PDF below).


What do we expect from you?

Please add any information that you think is relevant for the request, and justify its inclusion, e.g. additional information from countries, scales or disciplinary perspectives not covered sufficiently etc.

Please register to the forum (for instructions see the full Call for Knowledge below) and use the comment field below.

For further information on this request as well as the EKLIPSE process see the PDF of the full Call for Knowledge below.


Why should you do this?

If you're not yet convinced of the necessity of enabling policy makers to make better informed decisions based on best available science, you may want to consider the following benefits:

  • enhancing usability and relevance of scientific knowledge in general,
  • impacting on decison making,
  • getting attention for your work in this area,
  • network opportunities,
  • and potentially many others.


Last edited: 31.03.2017 23:52 (GMT) - by Marianne Darbi

Date: 21.03.2017 09:18 (GMT)

Dear all, we should surely ask the TEEB and Natural Capital community whether they have experiences on that - we will provide the link.

Member: Marianne Darbi

Date: 21.03.2017 09:34 (GMT)

Good point! Worth also keeping an eye on the 2017 Natural Capital Symposium (20-23 March 2017) in Stanford.

Member: Eeva Primmer

Date: 22.03.2017 19:46 (GMT)

Some food and beverage giants that can certainly not be called SMEs are taking courageous steps in ecosystem preservation and sustainability. The Finnish Alcohol enterprise Altia has protected swamps to secure clean water for their production. The Finnish food and catering company Fazer calculates and communicates the climate footprint of their lunch servings. Other examples of giant companies paying attention to ecosystem sustainability include Carlsberg, Coca Cola and Barrilla. While the regulators cannot necessarily draw lessons for steering SMEs from these huge players and their motivations, it is important to follow how these forerunners measure and justify their actions. The very same arguments and measures can work in inspiring or enforcing SMEs.

Member: Marianne Darbi

Date: 22.03.2017 19:58 (GMT)

Very valid point, Eeva. These global players are certainly front runners that can serve as examples - and to some extent conclusions may also be drawn from that for SMEs. Thus, it's great that you mention some examples here. As a follow up on that, how would you approach this issue in global corporations - via their sustainability or CSR reporting? In particular, do you have any more specific information (links to websites, documents, potential contact persons?) for the Swedish companies you have mentioned? (Personally I like Fazer for their sweets ;o))

Member: Petr Petrik

Date: 31.03.2017 14:33 (GMT)

Dear Eeva, I agree, that giant firmas can serve for inspiration of SMEs, however, we can keep in mind that such entertainments have often big PR depratments to show only what they want to show :) One of the reason why we focused on SMEs is that they are often not so powerful. I take example from the Czechia, where I live: some supermarkets, for example, buy below cost the locally produced food from farmers. On the other hand, for example, TESCO has decided to donate unsold meal to charity to prevent food waste. Two years ago this donation has been taxed and firmas rather threw the unsold food to trash. There is even an application MealSaver trying to solve this.

Member: Lynn Dicks

Date: 21.04.2017 09:04 (GMT)

I would like to highlight the Cool Farm Tool, which allows farms and food supply companies to measure their greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity impact. A water footprint calculator tool is currently in the testing phase and will join soon. This suite of tools is free for farmers to use.

Last edited: 21.04.2017 09:08 (GMT) - by Lynn Dicks

Member: Lynn Dicks

Date: 21.04.2017 09:07 (GMT)

The Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership is currently developing a methodology for calculating a company’s biodiversity impact score, as part of the Natural Capital Leader's Platform

Member: Lynn Dicks

Date: 21.04.2017 09:11 (GMT)

I am working on a method for companies to assess their vulnerability to pollinator decline, as part of this project:

Member: Lynn Dicks

Date: 21.04.2017 09:15 (GMT)

The Global Reporting Initiative Biodiversity Indicators are quite widely used in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting. The report outlines the business case for biodiversity.

Member: Marianne Darbi

Date: 30.04.2017 00:41 (GMT)

Thanks, Lynn for bringing up these different tools and work in progress. We'd be most happy if you could share some update on the things you're currently working on while they're evolving.

Member: Ian Dickie

Date: 24.04.2017 10:14 (GMT)

Indeed, the natural capital protocol has a supplement on food and drink. Examples of analysis are eftec's work for John Lewis - see page 34 (eco pigs):

And accounting work for the the Duchy of Cornwall's mainly agricultural estate, see page 14: ARA 2016

Member: Marianne Darbi

Date: 30.04.2017 00:38 (GMT)

Thanks, Ian. We will surely have a look at the food and drink guidance developed in the scope of the natural capital protocol. Great also to have some reference to practical examples!

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