This brochure is the fruit of the work of the Biodiversity Commission between 2010 and 2013. It gathers together the experience and best practices of EpE members in relation to biodiversity indicators. Here is a summary of the 4 parts of this publication.

Basic concepts and tools
Companies with a direct impact on biodiversity such as quarries, oil and gas operators and linear infrastructures etc have become used to integrating the issue of biodiversity into their everyday management processes. Other businesses with a more indirect impact are at a different stage in terms of awareness and experience. It is not unusual for businesses with an indirect impact to deal with biodiversity through sponsorship or forming partnerships with environmental associations in the first instance. Today, however, companies want to include biodiversity in their strategic objectives and are therefore exploring how best to approach the link between their business and biodiversity. “Measuring and managing biodiversity” has been published by the biodiversity commission and contains examples of members’ practices.

What are indicators used for?
Business ethics, management of the business, communication, risk prevention… there are a number of reasons that prompt companies to measure their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and how effective their actions are. Defining and implementing biodiversity indicators makes biodiversity relevant to strategic business goals, thereby attracting the attention of high-level directors. In addition, a voluntary commitment to positive biodiversity actions and transparent sharing of the biodiversity indicators helps create a dialogue with the different stakeholders – both internal and external.

Developing and selecting indicators for the business project
A business is part of an ecosystem (environment, partners and stakeholders) and studying this ecosystem and the issues and challenges surrounding it makes it possible to define the indicators. As there are a number of goals and spatial and temporal scales, companies must find a middle ground between what they ought to do and what is realistically possible, based on the information and resources available. In order to create an approach that is both understood and accepted, the process of selecting and developing the indicators should be accompanied by a dialogue with stakeholders.

What makes a good biodiversity indicator?
There are no standards for biodiversity indicators, but a look at the practices of EpE members allowed us to identify some general trends. Whether we’re talking about impact measurement, stock status or to give an overall view, companies often work in close collaboration with researchers to create a scientific basis for their biodiversity indicators with experts. The indicators, which must be verifiable, traceable and reproducible, in both time and space, are often monitored by scientists or associations over a long period of time. In addition, businesses generally seek fairly similar indicators to allow comparisons at group level. This doesn’t prevent local indicators from being used, however.

About forty concretes examples show key steps in developing and selecting indicators for the business project:

  • BASF
    BASF Agro, BiodiversID, a double network of farms for monitoring indicators
    The Concept of a Positive EconomyTM
    Biodiversity Management System (SMBio)
    The ESR tool for identifying the impact and dependencies of group activities in relation to biodiversity
    Monitoring and assessment indicators for compensatory measures
    External communication and level of company engagement
  • EDF
    Measuring the ecological value of land to enable sustainable management of natural spaces
    Hydroecological monitoring around nuclear power stations: reporting on the long-term evolution of aquatic ecosystems
    FRB/CESAB Partnership LOLA-BMS Butterflies, a model group for managing biodiversity
  • ERM
    Mapping biodiversity risks at a portfolio of sites
    A commitment with the SNB stamp of approval
    Indicators for tracking the company’s commitment to biodiversity
    The contribution of easement strips to ecological continuity
    A number of tools and methods for assessing, measuring and managing biodiversity
    A dedicated indicator to assess the biodiversity of quarries
    Dragonfly zone: An area for biological freedom and combating emerging pollutants
    Including Biodiversity in environmental risk insurance
    Which Assessment methods and indicators for industrial sites?
  • RTE
    Partnerships with organisations that manage natural areas
    Indicators for monitoring the impact of activities on ordinary biodiversity
    Partnerships with scientists to monitor biodiversity
    Testing a mapping method for use around the world
    A tool for measuring landscape integration
    Trees and plants bear the brunt of climate change
    An operational approach for preserving biodiversity
  • SNCF
    Indicators for managing biodiversity across the organisation
    An indicator for the tonnage of renewable raw materials
    Actively driving the number of action plans on its sites
    Mapping biodiversity risks at a portfolio of sites
    Group-level consolidated indicators for monitoring and reporting on the biodiversity policy
    Systematic research partnership with stakeholders