Business and Biodiversity
"Business can develop their grounds for the benefit of both wildlife and their employees as well as considering how their wider activities impact on the natural world."
Any business, large or small, can make a significant contribution to local biodiversity. CONE recognises the great potential within the grounds of industry and can offer advice and assistance to those businesses wanting to “Do their bit”.
Building on a wealth of in-house knowledge and twelve years experience of working with business partners CONE can provide the following services:
- Site assessment – ecological evaluation of the business site and the potential opportunities for improvement including potential funding assistance
- Site development – assistance in implementing improvements to the business site including project planning, specification preparation and management strategy
- Assistance with the development of a company Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)
- Advising on current best practice within your business sector and within other businesses of a similar size
- Integrating your company BAP with the aims of the Northumberland BAP
- Workforce engagement – training and guidance for those key staff involved as well as more general workforce awareness raising
These services have been developed to meet the varying needs of CONE’s business partners as they have sought to develop their grounds or change management practices to benefit wildlife. Sensitive to these varying needs CONE’s Business & Biodiversity Service remains flexible and responsive – a key factor in the success of these site improvement projects.
Benefits to business
All businesses can benefit from the profile raising that arises from undertaking positive measures to improve the local environment. It is the right thing to do! Central Government takes a similar view encouraging all businesses to incorporate biodiversity into their operations and, if possible, draw up their own Biodiversity Action Plans (House of Commons Environment, Transport & Regional Affairs Committee (ETRAC) Report, June 2000). The North East’s Regional Framework document sustaine, January 2002, (www.sustaine.com) details its objective to protect and enhance the region’s biodiversity.
Many businesses which have made improvements to their grounds have found that it can raise perceptions about the quality of the company and positively influence suppliers and relationships with other agencies and businesses.
Active links with the community can generate a community pride leading to fewer problems of vandalism and a more responsive, contented workforce. The wellbeing of the workforce can be improved through access to wildlife areas within the business grounds. Research has shown that contact with nature even for a short time during breaks can significantly reduce levels of stress. Ultimately this can lead to increased productivity as absence through illness is reduced.
Some CONE partners have gone one step further and encouraged community access to their sites – particularly schoolchildren (two youngsters shown opposite studying wildflowers at the BASF plant, Cramlington). In these cases the partners can benefit from a close relationship with the CONE Community Education Officer, who provides resources based on site habitats and undertakes environmental education visits with school parties.
In essence a business that makes a contribution to biodiversity within their site can benefit from:
- Improved relationships with other businesses and agencies
- Greater respect and standing within the local community
- A healthier and more productive workforce
- Satisfaction of “Doing one’s bit”
How to get involved
If you’re interested in further exploring the ways in which your company can benefit biodiversity then please contact Mick Sharpe on (01670) 542370.