International Day for Biological Diversity: How Food Companies Can Make a Difference

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity and the theme is "Be Part of the Plan".  It’s a powerful call to action for everyone—governments, businesses, lawmakers, local communities, NGOs, and individuals - to play their part in protecting biodiversity and supporting life on Earth.

Understanding Biodiversity

Biodiversity includes the vast array of living organisms, from plants and animals to microorganisms, and the ecosystems they form. It's not just about preserving species, but also about understanding the intricate web of interactions within ecosystems. Every organism has a role in maintaining ecological balance, and losing even one species can have significant ripple effects​ (FAO)​​.

Biodiversity is essential for ecosystem stability and resilience, which in turn supports human life by providing essential resources like food, water, and clean air. At inoqo, we are committed to promoting sustainability through our innovative solution for measuring the climate footprint and other dimensions, helping businesses and consumers make more sustainable choices.

Biodiversity and Climate Change

Forests cover nearly 31% of the world's land and are home to more than 80% of all terrestrial species of animals, plants, and insects. However, one-fifth of the Earth's land area is degraded, an area nearly the size of India and Russia combined. A recent UN report found that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history.

Land degradation drives species to extinction, disrupts the balance of nature, and makes ecosystems more fragile and less resilient to disruptions. This loss of biodiversity is an irreversible effect of human activity. Food systems account for a staggering 34% of global greenhouse gas emissions and significantly contribute to biodiversity loss and water usage. Over half of global GDP is dependent on nature. More than 1 billion people rely on forests for their livelihoods, and land and oceans absorb more than half of all carbon emissions.

Biodiversity and the ecosystem services it supports are essential for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. They provide benefits that increase people's resilience to environmental challenges and increase food security as well as the livelihood in rural communities.

What can we do?

Climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution form an interconnected triple planetary crisis, requiring joint action to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

As we celebrate the International Day of Biological Diversity, it's crucial for businesses to incorporate biodiversity into their practices, fostering a sustainable future. The theme for International Day for Biological Diversity 2024, "Be part of the Plan," calls on all stakeholders to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by supporting the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also known as the Biodiversity Plan.

Here is a list of actions that corporations, SMEs, and other stakeholders can take to contribute to the Biodiversity Plan:

 Protect and restore

- Rethink your relationship with nature by integrating biodiversity into your business models and portfolios. 

- Use the Biodiversity Plan as a blueprint for shaping your organization’s sustainability and Environment Social Governance (ESG) strategies, as well as for making investment decisions.

Prosper with nature

- Make your commitment to sustainability a key part of your marketing communications strategy. 

- Green the value chain by designing your products, services, and portfolios around sustainable production and consumption. Encourage your suppliers, business partners, and investors to commit to sustainability throughout the value chain.

Share benefits fairly

- Design fair arrangements that allow communities to benefit and thrive from your use of genetic and natural resources. 

- When using traditional knowledge, ensure your company obtains the free, prior, and informed consent of the knowledge owners.

Invest and collaborate

- Assess and disclose your business's impacts and dependencies on biodiversity. 

- Transform your business models to reduce negative impacts on biodiversity over time and communicate your progress transparently. 

- Invest in biodiversity-friendly research and development. Consider the costs associated with sustainable production as an investment in a more sustainable future for both your business and the planet.

What does it mean for the food & beverage industry and grocery retailers?

Integrating biodiversity into business practices can enhance brand reputation and attract consumers who are concerned about environmental impact. Companies that prioritize biodiversity, and sustainability as a whole, can build stronger, more loyal customer base by demonstrating their commitment to sustainability. What is today considered a "nice-to-have" will become a "must" tomorrow. That is why we encourage companies to start their climate journeys today, so they can be the leaders of tomorrow.

Here is a list of couple of steps that your F&B company could start today:

- Conduct a comprehensive biodiversity impact assessment of your operations and supply chains.

- Set measurable biodiversity goals within your sustainability and ESG strategies.

- Implement sustainable sourcing policies that prioritize suppliers using biodiversity-friendly practices.

- Support restoration projects by partnering with local and global organizations to aid reforestation and habitat restoration initiatives and investing in the conservation of endangered species and their habitats.

- Promote and sell products certified by biodiversity-friendly labels, such as organic, to significantly enhance sustainable production and consumption.

- Encourage your suppliers to adopt sustainable agriculture practices like crop rotation, agroforestry, and reduced pesticide use.

- Reduce food waste throughout the supply chain by optimizing inventory management and donating surplus food.

- Transition to eco-friendly packaging by reducing plastic use and switching to biodegradable or recyclable materials.

- Encourage customers to use reusable bags and containers through incentives and awareness campaigns.

At inoqo, we conduct product impact assessments for grocery retailers, F&B brands and other food companies, calculating the climate, biodiversity, and social impact of all your food and beverage products. Reach out to us at to explore how we can guide your business towards a low-impact future.

by Laura

from inoqo

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