Following ethical and sustainable consumption trends among consumers, businesses have been hard pressed to transition towards green solutions. Evident across all industries, from fashion to F&B, the keywords driving consumer intentions are sustainability and eco-consciousness. Termed “ethical consumerism”, this shift towards responsible buying behaviour stems from an increasing awareness on how consumer impact adversely affects the world around us.
This mindset has resulted in businesses adopting eco-friendly solutions such as avoiding single use plastics, sustainable order fulfilment in supply chains, and curbing carbon emissions during the manufacturing process. The goal of which is to maintain a harmonious and symbiotic relationship with the environment around us, ensuring biodiversity for years to come.
Since decades prior, biodiversity has been constantly endangered by factors such as pollution, global climate change, and habitat fragmentation. The last vestige of rainforest, the Amazon in Brazil, has seen an annual year on year loss, with an estimated 20% of land succumbing to deforestation to date. Home to a plethora of flora and fauna, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenges of maintaining biodiversity.
Business’s Role in Maintaining Biodiversity
A loss of biodiversity should alarm organisations and businesses. In fact, businesses rely on biodiversity and ecosystem services as critical inputs into their procurement and production processes. It is in their best interest to maintain biodiversity, and ensuingly maintain long-term business survival. Ethically speaking, these very same businesses are the largest direct beneficiaries from the environment. It is therefore their implicit responsibility to make sure that their methodologies and approaches are environmentally sustainable.
On a whole, we are collectively stumbling towards an ecological collapse – a situation where our ecosystem suffers a drastic and potentially irreversible reduction in carrying capacity for all organisms. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic and prophesying doom and gloom, ecological collapse is just a few spaces removed from mass extinction of the human race. That is, unless drastic action is taken.
Starting with nature-based solutions, big companies have already been doing their part to fight climate change and rehabilitate the environment. Nature-based carbon credit schemes offer partners a chance to offset their carbon footprint by tackling the problem of eco-consumption head on, with some initiatives allowing companies to generate nature-based credits by funding conservation and restoration projects.
By assessing the areas in which they are affecting the environment, whether directly, indirectly, or cumulatively, targeted action can be taken to curb these consequences. Harnessing existing natural resources and finding ways to strengthen their efficacy, these nature-based solutions are spearheading the battle in preserving biodiversity.
Playing Your Part in Protecting and Conserving Biodiversity
Yet as just a single cog in the machine of global consumption, what can you do to protect and conserve biodiversity? What actions can we take as individuals to play our part? A good first step forward is to be informed. Be mindful of the goods you consume and be conscious about what your patronage might say to these very same companies. Actions often speak louder than words, do your research and opt for organisations that make the necessary changes to conserve biodiversity.
Taking this a step further and examining things through a macro lens, you can get involved by supporting local farmers and communities. In doing so, you keep the dollars in the local economy and support agricultural efforts to conserve local biodiversity. It also has the added benefit of removing unnecessary steps in the logistics supply chain, thereby also shrinking your carbon footprint when it comes to consumption.
For those who want to contribute in a direct way, planting local flora and fauna helps counteract the threat of invasive species competing for resources. To maintain local biodiversity, make efforts to promote the survival of native plants and animals. There also exists non-profit organisations dedicated to protecting and conserving local biodiversity. Volunteering with these organisations not only contributes in a tangible way, but also allows you to be involved with efforts to preserve the environment around you. Financial aid goes a long way towards helping these very same organisations function and pursue their goal of ecological sustainability.