Embracing Biodiversity

By Tania Silva
Posted on August 14th 2023

In today’s society, as the emphasis on sustainability continues to grow, small companies are grappling with three fundamental questions: What exactly does biodiversity mean? How do we impact biodiversity? And, most importantly, what practical steps can we take to address this? For many, the topic of biodiversity can be intimidating, often due to a lack of understanding and the common misconception that offices don’t significantly impact biodiversity. This guide will shed light on these three fundamental questions, raising awareness of biodiversity and empowering small businesses to engage in biodiversity conservation.

What is biodiversity, and why is it important?

Biodiversity encompasses the natural wildlife of an area, including plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms[1]. These components interact and make up a complex ecosystem that fundamentally supports human life and the environment. Take, for example, the critical role of trees in an ecosystem. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, prevent soil erosion, provide habitat, and purify water by filtering out pollutants and chemicals. These services, known as ecosystem services, directly and indirectly contribute to human well-being and quality of life[2]. When biodiversity is compromised, the effects can be devastating. For example, deforestation reduces the ecosystem services provided by trees. Therefore, deforestation reduces carbon dioxide absorption from the atmosphere, increases soil erosion, and reduces water quality. While the significance of biodiversity and the threats it faces extend far beyond this example, it illustrates how crucial preserving biodiversity is and why every company and individual should consider their impact on biodiversity.

How do you impact biodiversity?

Many companies believe that a lack of physical products corresponds with a reduced impact on biodiversity and the environment. However, this is only sometimes the case. Even companies providing digital services or producing environmentally friendly products still impact biodiversity, although possibly to a lesser extent than those producing plastic-based products. The extent to which a company affects biodiversity depends on each company’s specific activities and practices. Consider the following questions if you are uncertain about your impact on biodiversity:

  1. Do you have green spaces on your company premises, and how do you manage and preserve them?
  2. How do your products or services impact the environment and biodiversity throughout their lifecycle, and what elements are involved in their production?
  3. Are you involved in conservation initiatives for the local environment or worldwide biodiversity?
  4. What raw materials do you use, and how are they sourced?
  5. Do your operations, products, and services generate waste, and how do you manage and dispose of your waste?
  6. Are there any emissions associated with your products and services?

While this list is not exhaustive, asking these questions can further develop your understanding of how you impact biodiversity.

How to reduce your impact on biodiversity

Minimising your impact on biodiversity can seem like a daunting task. However, making incremental and manageable adjustments and incorporating them into your supply chain and business operations can have a meaningful impact. Here are ten ways you can reduce your impact on biodiversity:

  • Source paper and wood products from suppliers certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).
  • Use renewable energy resources.
  • Ensure suppliers have sustainability certifications.
  • Invest in good quality carbon offsetting programs and reforestation or afforestation initiatives.
  • Run employee workshops to raise awareness of biodiversity conservation and energy-saving strategies.
  • Promote waste separation and recycling in the office.
  • For business travel, use public transport or electric vehicles.
  • Encourage working from home to reduce commuting-associated emissions.
  • Engage in local conservation initiatives, such as wildflower planting or plastic pick-up projects.
  • Ensure all raw materials are sustainably and locally sourced.

For companies with outdoor space, several impactful changes can be implemented. Consider planting wildflowers or installing birdhouses to enhance biodiversity and create a welcoming habitat for wildlife. Other changes could include water features, which provide drinking spots for birds and insects, or no-mow zones, where grass and wildflowers can grow freely, offering habitats for insects and small animals. Additionally, composting organic waste improves soil and plant health while reducing landfill waste, thus promoting a more sustainable waste management system. These simple measures are effective, supporting biodiversity and contributing to the preservation of the local environment.

Feel free to contact our sustainability consultants at [email protected] if you would like more specific guidance on reducing your impact on biodiversity and the environment.


Hancock, L. (2019). What is biodiversity and why is it under threat? [online] World Wildlife Fund. Available at:
NatureScot (2022). Ecosystem services – nature’s benefits. [online] NatureScot. Available at: Services are the direct.