Eight major Swedish companies from four different industries are joining forces for the “Näringslivets Värderingsmetod för Biologisk Mångfald” (Biodiversity Metrics for the Private Sector) project. Behind this unique initiative and collaboration are Boliden, Cementa, LKAB, SCA, Skellefteå Kraft, Specialfastigheter, Svenska Kraftnät, Vattenfall and Ecogain.

The aim of the project is to:

  • establish a tool to measure how biodiversity is affected by land use.

The target is to:

  • allow companies to credibly quantify and communicate their negative and positive impacts on biodiversity through land use or changed land use.

An expected result is that:

  • permit processes for major community projects will become more predictable for authorities, stakeholders and companies, and the follow-up of measures taken will be simplified.

“This could provide an improved foundation and more rapid use in practical application,” says Katarina Kolar, Sustainability Director of SCA, one of the companies that is involved in the initiative.

Metrics already exist internationally, but there is yet to be a global standard. One such example is the British Biodiversity Metrics, and other evaluation models used in Germany and the US.

In various ways, the companies behind the project make use of a substantial amount of land through their operations. As such, they have all identified biodiversity as a significant issue for their sustainability efforts and their businesses. The idea for the project came about through meetings at Business@Biodiversity Sweden, an environmental networking event for major companies.

Katarina Kolar talks about what SCA sees as beneficial in being part of this project:

“As Europe’s largest private forest owner, protecting biodiversity is one of our prioritized sustainability issues. Measuring how biodiversity develops over time and evaluating the effects of measures that have been taken is complex, and there is currently no common methodology in place. We can see a great advantage in having a common methodology where different interest groups can talk the same language, and we can assure the quality of measures that have been taken.”

“We create value in and from the forest, and with the force of the forest, we contribute to a sustainable future. A prerequisite for this is responsible and active forest management. Protecting biodiversity is a natural part of responsible forest management. Our goal is that our forests are to be at least as rich in biodiversity, nature experiences and raw material in the future as they are today,” continues Katarina Kolar.

The project will be led by the consultancy Ecogain, specialists in sustainable land use and biodiversity.

The tool will facilitate integration of biodiversity in companies’ business models, and could improve the establishment of objectives and follow-up procedures. Steps taken to achieve biodiversity will also become more efficient, as the measurement tool allows companies to concentrate on those areas in which the greatest environmental benefits can be achieved.

“It is an enormous strength that so many diverse companies are joining forces and launching this initiative. All of the participants also acknowledge the challenge of finding the appropriate balance between scientific correctness and applicability. Biodiversity is complex,” says Anders Enetjärn, CEO of Ecogain.

He also emphasizes that an important element of the project is establishing the method on a wide scale. A reference group will be appointed with both domestic and international representatives from the authorities, academia and other interest groups. The tool that will be developed will be available for all community builders to use.

“This is a very exciting initiative. If the initiative can cultivate increased ambitions and allow companies to have clear goals and strategies in place for biodiversity, such as have been adopted for climate efforts, it will be able to further enhance the leadership role of the private sector,” says Johan Kuylenstierna, Board member of Ecogain.

About the project

The “Näringslivets värderingsmetod för biologisk mångfald” project has been initiated by Ecogain as well as the eight major companies that are now partners in the project.

The following companies have already joined: Boliden, LKAB, Cementa, Svenska Kraftnät, Specialfastigheter, Skellefteå Kraft, SCA and Vattenfall. All of of these are members in the Business@Biodiversity Sweden company network

The project is open to welcoming new members.

Phase 1.0 will cover “Förändrad markanvändning på land’” (Changed land use). The project will commence in August, 2020.

Later phases will preliminarily concern aquatic environments and agricultural sciences.

Caption: The measurement method will assist companies in quantifying their impact on biodiversity in a credible and standardized way, for example through the establishment of new infrastructure or, in this case, the new mine in Mertainen, Kiruna.

For more information, please contact:

Anders Enetjärn, CEO of Ecogain
e-mail: anders.enetjarn@ecogain.se
tel: +46 713 213 009

Anders Forsgren, Senior Project Manager Business Development, Boliden
e-mail: anders.forsgren@boliden.com
tel: +46 706 973 096

Published 8/25/2020