Business and Biodiversity Initiative

Project: Research

Project participants


The Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM) of the Leuphana University Lüneburg has developed for the Business and Biodiversity Initiative of the German federal government a practitioner handbook for corporate biodiversity management. Cooperation partners include B.A.U.M. (German Environmental Management Association) and the GTZ (Society for Technical Cooperation). Based on general and cross-industry analysis, the handbook provides the different reasons, fields of action and starting points to support companies interested in successfully putting biodiversity management into practice.
In order to provide easy access to the topic, a business framework with seven different fields of action for every type of company has been developed: sites and facilities, supply chains, commodities and materials, product design, production and manufacturing processes, transport and logistics and personnel. For each of these fields of action the possible impacts on biological diversity are analysed, e.g. the design of (production) sites, the kind and origin of raw materials or the fundamental conceptualisation of products. The fields of action are then evaluated by the use of economic indicators, e.g. costs, sales, risk management, reputation or new business models. As a result, ethical and natural science arguments for the preservation of biological diversity are not in the foreground of the handbook. Instead the topic is linked to the business objectives of companies.
The production of the handbook was part of the “Business and Biodiversity Initiative”, which was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and realised by the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
In the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted at the 9th Conference of the Parties in 1992 by the community of states, the 2008 international “Business and Biodiversity Initiative” was founded. The goal of this initiative is to integrate the private sector more closely into strategies to conserve biological diversity.
Self-interest is not the least important motivation for companies to increase their engagement for the conservation of biodiversity. This is also true for companies whose activities only indirectly impact biological diversity, such as for example retailers, financial institutes or some consumer goods and machine producers. Starting points for integrating biodiversity criteria can be found for example in production processes and sites, supply chains, credit operations or involvement in conservation areas and research. Over 40 international companies have since joined the initiative and are integrating biodiversity management into their business activities and central management systems.

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety,
GTZ (Society for Technical Cooperation),
B.A.U.M. (German Environmental Management Association)

Research outputs