The Power of Positive Contribution to Biodiversity: A Closer Look at Positive Avoided Impact

fls 2019 sept clunes photos

Biodiversity, the intricate web of life on Earth, is under threat like never before. Human activities are causing unprecedented declines in biodiversity, with dire consequences for our planet’s health and our own survival. However, there is a growing recognition of the need to not only reduce our negative impacts but also to actively contribute to biodiversity’s restoration and enhancement. This is where the concept of positive contribution to biodiversity comes into play, and more specifically, the notion of ‘positive avoided impact’.

Positive contribution to biodiversity refers to actions that contribute to the restoration, enhancement, or preservation of biodiversity. This can be achieved through various means, such as the creation of nature reserves, the implementation of sustainable farming practices, or the development of low biodiversity impact goods and services.

In 2019, the World Resources Institute highlighted the growing interest among companies in developing and promoting low-carbon products with positive impacts, also known as ‘avoided emissions’. The same can be said for the positive contribution to biodiversity. Companies that demonstrate a positive impact are signalling their contribution to the transition towards more sustainable practices, outperforming their peers by operating in a more sustainable way through their supply chain, processes, or products.

Positive avoided impact is a specific type of positive contribution. It refers to the negative impact on biodiversity that has been prevented due to a company’s actions. This could be through the use of more sustainable materials, the implementation of more efficient processes, or the development of innovative products that have a lower impact on biodiversity.

Avoided impact can be quantified by comparing a company’s current impact with a reference scenario, such as the environmental intensity of products from a base year or the market average biodiversity impact of products. This allows companies to demonstrate how their actions have directly contributed to the preservation of biodiversity.

Iceberg Data Lab has developed a unique tool to measure avoided impact: the Biodiversity Avoided Impact Score. This score, ranging from -1 to 1, provides a clear benchmark for a company’s biodiversity impact, helping them identify areas for improvement and track their progress over time. It also offers a reliable metric for investors to assess the biodiversity impact of their portfolios, aiding in decision-making and risk management.

In a world where biodiversity is under threat, the concept of positive contribution, and particularly positive avoided impact, is more important than ever. By providing clear, reliable data on avoided impact, Iceberg Data Lab is helping companies and investors make more informed, sustainable decisions. Their work is a testament to the power of data in driving positive change for biodiversity.