IEMA's Head of Policy Ben Goodwin discusses the range of UK businesses that came together at an online event this morning to launch a new forum aimed at raising the profile of the challenges and opportunities that action on biodiversity presents to the business community.

Defra’s Deputy Director and Joint Head of International Environment Negotiations, Will Lockhart, joined the UK Business Biodiversity Forum’s (UKBBF) inaugural event to talk about the findings of the recent Dasgupta Review and the need to mainstream biodiversity across all government decision-making.

There were also presentations from several of the Forum’s founding members showcasing the breadth of businesses and economic sectors that have come together to support the initiative.

Speaking on behalf of Barratt Developments plc, Helen Nyul the housebuilding firm’s Group Head of Biodiversity, outlined the importance of embedding biodiversity considerations at the outset of the development process, while Ed Godsiffe, Sustainability Manage at Skanska, spoke about the steps being taken at the construction giant to increase biodiversity net gain across key projects.

Showcasing the variety of members that the Forum has managed to attract, there was also a presentation from carbon neutral hair salon Anne Veck.

Over 200 delegates from around the world attended the event, paving the way for lively Q&A that focused on a range of interesting areas including the role of science-based nature targets in business planning and the need to develop practical toolkits to help guide businesses in integrating biodiversity considerations within their value chains.

What the UK Business Biodiversity Forum aims to do

The UKBBF is aiming to provide a platform for businesses of all shapes and sizes to connect on the theme of mainstreaming biodiversity by:

  • Hosting knowledge sharing events
  • Issuing briefing notes and guidance
  • Delivering technical seminars
  • Providing networking opportunities

The role of IEMA

Over the coming weeks and months, IEMA will begin to provide a secretariat function to the Forum. This will include assisting with the delivery of Forum events to facilitate the sharing of best practice between interested businesses, alongside providing communications support for wider UKBBF activities and outputs.

Where appropriate there will also be scope for IEMA to support the development of position statements through the Forum on specific biodiversity policy issues, utilising the insights of IEMA members and Fellows.

Find out more and get involved

To learn more about the aims and objectives of the UKBBF visit the Forum’s LinkedIn page here.

The Forum is also interested in understanding the areas that different UK businesses think that it should focus on and the outputs that it should deliver. To capture this input the following survey has been developed.

If you can spare five minutes to complete this, it would be greatly appreciated.