Incorporating Biodiversity Considerations into the Management of Small to Medium Enterprises

This document is intended for use by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as a supplement to A Guide to Biodiversity Conservation for Canadian Business 2010, of the Canadian Business & Biodiversity Council (CBBC).

The Canadian Business and
Biodiversity Council creates
publications to help businesses
integrate biodiversity conservation
into their everyday practices.
Photo: © Canadian Business and
Biodiversity Council, 2010.
Biological diversity - or the variety of life on earth - is essential to a healthy planet and a sustainable future. Around the world, biodiversity is in serious global decline and requires immediate action for conservation and protection.

Protecting biodiversity is a shared responsibility for all Canadians, including federal, provincial and local governments, private sector, and civil society. This is why Environment Canada has joined forces with government, businesses, NGOs and academia to address this challenge and maintain a biologically diverse future.

Many SMEs are directly and essentially dependent upon natural resources. Examples include recreation; tourism; hunting, fishing and trekking outfitters; agriculture; horticulture; commercial fishing; indigenous livelihoods and artisanal products. Others are indirectly dependent on the ecosystem services provided by biological diversity.

All human activity is fundamentally dependent on the planet’s biological diversity and all human activity influences biodiversity, positively or negatively. It is clear that the potential for SMEs, collectively and individually, to influence biodiversity is at least equal to, if not greater than that of the big Canadian corporations. SMEs are a vital part of the solution to the problem of biodiversity decline. SMEs can also be part of the solution in another key way. SMEs are innovation leaders. Conservation and corporate ecological sustainability demand new tools and technologies.

Recent innovations by business have not only reduced the cost of conservation, but, in many instances, have resulted in lower business costs and higher profits, while exhibiting exemplary environmental performance. Both the suppliers and the consumers of these innovations are benefiting financially, while biodiversity is conserved.

The SME Guide analyses eight different topics:

  1. The Business Case
  2. The Importance of SMEs
  3. The Meaning and Value of Biodiversity
  4. The Influence of Consumers
  5. Planning for Sustainability
  6. The Role of Partnerships
  7. Sustainability Reporting
  8. A Word for Investors

The document may be found here

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