Industry can lead the way this International Biodiversity Day
An urgent need to act on behalf of the planet
We’re celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity. With new figures showing that biodiversity loss remains a major issue, it’s clear that we all need to do more to protect the complex ecosystems on which we depend for our long-term survival. At Solvay, we believe that industry is ideally placed to lead this effort.
Scientific organizations, including the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have issued an urgent call for action to stop biodiversity loss. Companies now face increasing pressure to adopt a “nature positive” approach to business, and a new framework for the coming decades is being drafted by the COP15 Convention on Biodiversity with the objective to stop biodiversity loss by 2030 and restore it from then on.
Having already set our goal to reduce our pressure on biodiversity by 30% before 2030, Solvay aims to be at the forefront of the industry response.
Business and biodiversity, hand-in-hand
Industry not only has the power and resources to make a real difference in protecting biodiversity, it also makes good business sense for us to do so. The World Economic Forum has calculated that 50% of the global economy is reliant on nature, which means that biodiversity loss not only entails a risk to natural and human life, but also to the economy.
Margaret O’Gorman, President of the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), a membership network that works with companies to reduce their biodiversity impact, provided a great example to illustrate this on our recent podcast: “One in three bites of food that we eat is created by pollinators and the economic impact of pollinators to the global economy is equivalent to that of the three largest auto manufacturing companies. So if pollinators were to disappear tomorrow, it would create a similar economic impact as if Ford, Stellantis and Toyota were to disappear tomorrow, with the ripple effect outwards in the economy.”
Local initiatives to inspire Group success
Alongside our continued work with customers and suppliers to help reduce pressure on biodiversity across the supply chain, Solvay is now calling on each of our sites to develop their own local roadmap for biodiversity restoration. One site that has already done this is Rosignano in Italy. Their roadmap includes several projects, such as re-introducing a falcon to the nearby natural reserve of Santa Luce and working with local associations to protect biodiversity, and they have set out a timeline and plan to achieve each project.
“We are already working on biodiversity, having included the ambition to decrease the impact of our activities along the value chain by 30% by 2030 in our Solvay One Planet ambition. Now we want to extend this to the local level, including by working on ‘nature positive’ projects at site level,” explains Marie-Helene Enrici, who is responsible for the Group’s nature strategy. She encourages Solvay sites to take inspiration both from one another and the efforts of other companies, as well as to build on the many local partnerships and actions launched during our 2021 Citizen Day event, which focused on biodiversity. These activities included clean-ups at local beaches and parks, the creation of on-site ecosystems for endangered native bees, and the planting of trees and on-site vegetable gardens.
Want to learn more? Check out this podcast!
In the most recent episode of the “AND is the future” podcast, Solvay CEO Ilham Kadri talks business and biodiversity with Margaret O’Gorman, President of the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC). Listen now to find out more about the economic benefits of biodiversity preservation, the importance of partnerships, best practices in biodiversity protection, and much more!