Business activities

How can environmental regulators support businesses to improve the outcomes of their operations for biodiversity, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises in the food and beverage sector in Europe?

Requesters: Louise Bond & Nicola Melville – Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
Date request received: 28/10/2016
Call for Knowledge: March-April 2017
Call for Experts: September-October 2017
Date of first meeting with requesters and EKLIPSE KCB and methods experts: 02/02/2017
Expected deadline for deliverables: final deliverables are due 30/10/2018

Background
Biodiversity loss induced by human activity and a rapid related decline in essential resources for human nutrition and well-being is one of the largest challenges facing us today. While businesses are increasingly aware of their dependencies on biodiversity and ecosystem services, practical approaches allowing companies to understand and manage their impacts on natural capital across their supply chains are lacking.
This request will focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, as these have been identified as potentially benefitting most from support in understanding, selecting, and implementing mandatory and voluntary approaches to enhance environmental sustainability, as these have not been sufficiently addressed thus far.

Figure 1 : The food and beverage supply chain
Source : Trucost. 2016. Environmentally extended input-output (EEI-O) model; Natural Capital Coalition. 2016. « Natural Capital Protocol – Food and Beverage Sector Guide ». 
 
This request was initially put to EKLIPSE by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). In order to refine the request, the following scoping activities were carried out: 
a. Literature scoping in order to identify already existing publications/projects/reports relevant to the request, with a special focus on existing synthesis
b. Call for Knowledge in order to identify already existing work on the request  and
c. Evaluation of the policy and stakeholder relevance via bilateral telephone interviews, personal meetings and email requests to ensure the policy relevance of the request detailed below and to refine the request.
 
The Document of Work (DoW) describes the results of the scoping activities as well as further background information about the request, and was the basis for the Call for Experts.
 
During the scoping process, the EKLIPSE Methods Expert Group and the KCB Business group discussed potential methods of knowledge synthesis which can be applied for this request. Building on the discussions and material prepared by the EKLIPSE Methods Expert Group, the following methods were suggested for the different steps of the request:
- Quick Scoping Review
- Solutions Scanning
- Delphi Process
- Non-systematic Literature Review
- Multi-Criteria Analysis
 
See the DoW for more details about the proposed methods and the stages at which they are to be applied.
 
Process
The next step is for the Expert Working Group to develop the DoW into a Protocol, which, following a period of extended peer-review and open consultation, will serve as the basis for their synthesis work and support the drafting of a final report/product.