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Three-quarters of businesses failing to include biodiversity impact in sustainability plans

Only 24 per cent of businesses currently include biodiversity impact within their sustainability strategies. 

This is according to findings from a global survey of over 500 senior sustainability officers, commissioned by AiDash, a provider of vegetation management and other satellite- and AI-powered operations, maintenance, and sustainability solutions, due to be published early next year.

However, this appears set to change in 2023, with businesses planning to rapidly accelerate action on biodiversity. The data revealed that nearly two-thirds (66 per cent) of companies already had a dedicated biodiversity role in place and, of those that hadn’t, a significant proportion had plans to create such a position.

Strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are already high on the agenda, with 98 per cent of respondents stating they are exceeding legal requirements, and 69 per cent aiming to hit net zero on or before 2030. With the vast proportion of consequential sustainability planning occurring within just the last two years, businesses have demonstrated their ability to respond quickly to critical environmental requirements, even before global and regional frameworks are agreed upon.

But measuring biodiversity can be a challenging task. Traditional solutions are frequently manual and highly complex, involving sending ecologists to collect data from key areas and extrapolate findings for an entire site. These measurements are inherently incomplete, prone to unconscious bias, and can be expensive and time consuming for large areas or distributed estates.

With the speed at which biodiversity is declining – the UK has lost approximately half of its biodiversity since the 1970’s according to research by the Natural History Museum – and with experts at COP15 warning that putting 30 per cent of land aside for conservation by 2030 is insufficient, businesses need to embrace advances in technology to enact swift, efficient, and meaningful biodiversity net gain across their corporate landholdings.

Abhishek Vinod Singh, CEO, AiDash commented: “By using AI and satellite technology, businesses can get the data they need to effectively measure and monitor biodiversity impact, and critical insights to inform biodiversity net gain strategies cost effectively and within a matter of weeks. 

“Adoption of this type of technology is imperative for businesses to adhere to upcoming biodiversity legislation, such as the Environment Act 2021 in the UK, and to meet their own ambitious land biodiversity targets, which are set to become a key feature in business’s sustainability strategies in 2023 and beyond.”

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