Trading floor of the Palace of Madrid Stock Exchange. Image: Madrid Stock Exchange  Biodiversity loss is recognised as a planetary emergency, as it is occurring at rates unprecedented in human history according to recent landmark reports on the state of global biodiversity and ecosystem services and global risks. Given the increasing focus on biodiversity, public policies at national, regional and global scale, as well as the investment community and sustainability-oriented customers are demanding more transparency from business sector in terms of biodiversity-related issues disclosure and reporting.  What is the situation of the Ibex 35 listed companies in this regard? To what extent is biodiversity a relevant or potentially relevant issue for them? How are they responding to the risks posed by their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity? To shed light on these questions, Ecoacsa Reserva de Biodiversidad and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) have signed a Collaborative Project Agreement (CAP) to assess the performance of all IBEX 35 with respect to the integration of biodiversity into their operations. The aim of this project is to evaluate the level of awareness of the importance of biological diversity incorporation into activities, plans and strategies of the selective Ibex 35, to identify key gaps and strengths with regards to biodiversity risk and performance disclosure in Spain. Ecoacsa will conduct the assessment along with Polytechnic University of Madrid according to a transparent methodology developed by the EWT, based on publicly available data, including corporate websites, annual reports such us annual integrated reports and sustainability reports. This initiative takes place within the Biodiversity Disclosure Project (BDP), supported by the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN), which was established by the EWT in 2013 and is member of the  Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity (GPBB) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Biodiversity Disclosure Project is a framework that provides companies with a practical avenue through which to consolidate and report annually on their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity a standardised and comparable manner. Ebro river landscape. Image: Pixabay.com Credible and unbiased information One of the BDP´s outputs is the Biological Diversity Protocol (BD Protocol), developed in close collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders and  designed as a comprehensive biodiversity impact accounting and reporting framework that can help produce the credible and unbiased information needed for various biodiversity-related applications, from site management to disclosure. The BD Protocol helps companies consolidate all their biodiversity impact information across their operations and value chains. This process involves several key steps, from developing and managing a biodiversity impact inventory according to the appropriate organisational and value chain boundaries, identifying and determining material biodiversity impacts to disclosing or reporting on an organisation’s impacts on biodiversity. The information produced is also useful to stakeholders, investors, policy makers and non-governmental organisations as it provides the evidence needed to make informed decisions. Improving the biodiversity disclosure of reporting organisations will enable benchmarking with peers across and within industries, pushing for continuous improvement to minimise risks, reduce costs and seize new opportunities. While the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (i.e. the GHG Protocol) was the benchmark standard for the vision and structure of the BD Protocol, it is aligned to the Natural Capital Protocol. It helps provide biodiversity-specific guidance to measuring changes in the state of natural environment, by providing guidance on how to measure change in biodiversity components impacted by business. Context Biodiversity – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – is at serious risk with over one million species threatened with extinction and its continued decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to underpin economic activity and contribute to people’s well-being. This ecological crisis is widely recognised by landmark reports on the state of global biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES, 2019) and global risks (Global Risk Report 2020 and Nature Risk Rising by World Economic Forum) rating biodiversity loss as “the second most impactful and third most likely risk for the next decade” and calling for more effective action from all economic and social agents to conserve biodiversity. To a lesser or a greater extent, all businesses affect and rely on biodiversity, directly and indirectly, and the many key ecosystem services it provides, for example, in the form of nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, pest regulation and crops pollination, flood attenuation, erosion control, sustain agricultural productivity and many others. Biodiversity underpins economic development, but it is threatened globally and its ability to continue to provide the goods and services that supports economies and societies is failing. The biodiversity loss affects society as a whole, and in particular those companies that are highly dependent on the secure supply of a number of nature-dependent commodities and other resources that biological diversity provides. Understanding risks and opportunities associated to dependencies and impacts of business sector on biodiversity is increasingly recognized as a key sustainability factor for many organisations as they are explicitly referred to play their part in high-level global agreements and national and regional regulations by managing biodiversity better and reducing their footprint on it. Examples of the latter are the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Aichi Targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 of the Convention of Biological Diversity (currently negotiating the post-2020 global biodiversity framework), and the European Union Green Deal.   By assessing the biodiversity mainstreaming performance of the 35 most liquid securities traded on the Spanish market, expected outcomes will provide a real picture of the materiality of biodiversity for Spanish businesses. This information will also help us to know whether biodiversity remains a challenge across the largest Spanish companies by market capitalisation or key progress has been made and can provide direction and momentum to other enterprises at national and international scale. Joint press release download ...

Statement of the 50 member organisations of the Spanish Green Growth Group (GECV), –to which Ecoacsa belongs- in the face of COVID-19 pandemic:   The health crisis of COVID-19 is the most important crisis that society is facing since the Second World War and measures taken to address it are triggering a paralysis of significant economic and social activities at a global level.   In the short term, governments –with the support of the whole civil society- are focusing all efforts on addressing an unprecedented health crisis we are facing and softening the adverse short-term effects of the closure of the economy (fiscal measures, liquidity to makerts…).   In this context, business community in general, and in particular GECV member companies have taken a very active part in the short term response by providing resources to society, business solutions and easy payment terms, specially to those consumers who are part of the most vulnerable groups.   In the medium term, multilateral institutions and governments are working in economic stimulus packages and policies which will bring and injection of billions euros to the economy, with the aim of contributing to the dynamization of the economic growth and to promote employment recovery.   The GECV member organisations consider that these stimulus should fall within and must be in line with actions to address the most pressing challenges in terms of climate action and sustainability, within the roadmap towards a net zero emissions economy by 2050. A economic sustainable and robust growth path will thus be strengthened which will deliver prosperity.   Initiatives that must to be tackled as a matter of urgency in the short term, should not undermine resources and opportunities to reorienting the economic model towards this direction.   Consistent with our position, the GECV supports at European level and in line with the declarations of the President of the European Commission herself, Ursula Von der Leyer, the EU Green Deal full enforce as a policy roadmap towards economic recovery by adopting decarbonization and digitalization as the major strategic lines of action.   In the case of Spain, the GECV believes that accelerating investment associated with the Integrated Energy and Climate Plan and the adoption of the Climate Change Act are a vital starting point to establish the foundation of a strong recovery, aligned with climate objectives and the sustainable development agenda. The Spanish Green Growth Group is comprised by 50 organisations of all sizes and profiles. They account for more than half of the IBEX35 turnover and close to 40 % of the selective IBEX35 index are already part of the GECV. In terms of employment, it accounts for about 5 % of the Spanish working population, and a growing innovative SMEs representation providing and ambitious approach to seize opportunities resulting in creating value and prosperity in view of environmental challenges is also part of the group. The Spanish Green Growth Group is currently an association created to promote public-private partnership and to make progress to respond to environmental challenges. Climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions, the decarbonisation of the economy and the promotion of a circular economy will undoubtedly come from the business fabric and are essential in a prosperous society. Twitter Linkedin Facebook ...

Pond containing plants by using organic networks and coconut fiber batts to control soil erosion, retain sediments and humidity to facilitate re-planting in Plataforma Central Iberum (Illescas, Toledo) Green Building Council España (GBCe), Ecoacsa Reserva de Biodiversidad and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have signed a collaboration agreement to work together to develop actions that promote sustainable building in Spain and at European level. They will cooperate by incorporating biodiversity-oriented design of business and industrial premises (BOP).The agreement is framed within the objectives of the EU LIFE projects LIFE Level(s) and LIFE BooGI BOP. The first aims to promote a voluntary assessment framework that will lead to increase sustainable buildings in the European building stock. Level(s) also encourages taking into account the life cycle of the buildings to address environmental and climate risks. The LIFE BooGI BOP project promotes BOP design as part of green infrastructures such as biotope corridors -specially in urban and periurban areas in Europe- that are also able to improve the well-being of individuals and society.Among actions that will be developed within the agreement, signing entities will cooperate organising training and awareness-raising sessions targeted at buildings maintenance staff, , architects, builders, developers, manufacturers or building, members of professionals associations and other experts from construction and building sectors.The content of these sessions is designed to inform, raise awareness and empower attendees to support biodiversity protection and its strengthening within their workplaces, while at the same time make their buildings and environments more sustainable, and enhance working atmosphere and employee’s´ well-being.Another common line of working, which is associated to GBCe´s certification tools, will consist in defining ways to measure impacts that the management of building and construction sectors has on biodiversity and ecosystem. That is, how activities from both sectors affect benefits that nature provides to society such us food, wood, fiber, clean air and water, carbon sequestration, soil stabilization and pollination, among others.Research is one of the cornerstones of both LIFE projects involved in the agreement whose promoters have agreed to cooperate in this field. Specifically, they will design activities both at national and international scale to develop methods which make it possible to value the positive impact of biodiversity on architecture in environmental, social and economic terms. The agreement is therefore seeking enhance Nature-based Solutions as a means of fostering sustainability in building sector.One of the objectives of the agreement is to collaborate with public administrations, universities, corporations practitioners, national and international organisations and associations in disseminating principles and good practices on sustainable design and construction of buildings.Synergies, knowledge and resources shared for achieving the purpose of the agreement are expected to help accelerate the transformation of the building sector towards a sustainable building.Objectives pursued by the framework agreement are aligned with the European Green Deal, which advocates for transformative changes in all of the economic and social spheres, including construction and building. The European Green Deal is aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change and its aim is to ensure that Europe has a zero-emissions economy by 2050, and protects our environment to enhance individuals’ well-being and working atmosphere in businesses. In addition, it is an integral part of the EU strategy for implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Share Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...

European Business and nature summit Bulding actions for nature and people Conscious of the need to address the ecological and climate crisis that we face, leading public and private organisations have joined forces to convene in Madrid in the framework of the European Business and Nature Summit (EBNS) more than 300 professionals from all economic and social sectors to strengthen their commitment on halting the loss of biodiversity and ensure the health of ecosystems. Globally, we have been underestimating, or ignoring, the risks associated to continuous loss of nature and its services, which has led us to the current environmental emergency. We need nature to survive and thrive. Stable climate, fresh air, minerals and clean water, healthy soil and pollinators that nurtures our crops are dependent upon the good state of preservation of nature. It is urgent to guarantee the good health of ecosystem services -the benefits that flow from nature to people and underpin human well-being and economy, which requires to get on board in this mission as many decision-makers as possible. To help business and finance sectors to better mainstream the impacts and dependencies that their operations and portfolios have on nature, the EU Business and Biodiversity platform (B@B), Ecoacsa, Fundación Empresa y Clima, Fundación Biodiversidad from the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition –through the Spanish Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IEEB)- and the Ministry of Environment of Finland have gathered in the EBNS –the largest event within the Natural Capital Week 2019– more than 300 leaders and other voices at all levels of organisations around the world to demonstrate how nature can be a powerful ally in global efforts to revert the loss of biodiversity, limit climate change and its impacts on people and the planet. The two-days conference has been attended by representatives from Australia, Belgium, Brasil, Canada, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. Close to 80 speakers have contributed to the agenda of the EBNS, who have shared real examples, methologies, partnerships, iniciatiatives and commitments with the aim at generating net positive impact for nature. The summit has been moderated by Eva Zabey, Executive Director of Business for Nature, and some of the global organisations and European policy, conservation and business leaders who have joined her at the EBNS are Daniel Calleja, European Commission DG Environment; Hugo Morán, Spanish Secretary of State for Environment from the Ministry of Ecological Transition; Terhi Lehtonen, Secretary of State of Finland; Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); Peter White, Ambassador for Biodiversity and CBD COP 15 at WBCSD; Marco Lambertini, General Director of WWF International; Mark Gough, CEO of Capitals Coalition; Valentín Alfaya, president of the Spanish Green Growth Group (GECV), Joaquín Garralda, president of Spainsif, and David Álvarez, CEO of Ecoacsa. Collaborating entities to the EBNS are the Association for Sustainability and Progress of Societies (ASYPS), Business for Nature, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Fundación Conama, Fundación Global Nature, Fundación “la Caixa”, the Natural Capital Coalition and We Value Nature. The congress is financially supported by the European Commission and Fundación Biodiversidad, with contributions from the Natural Capital Summit, Bayer, Calidad Pascual, Everis Ingeniería, Ferrovial and Grupo Red Eléctrica. Comparte Facebook-f Twitter Linkedin-in ...