On December 15th, LIFE Coalition for Business & Biodiversity was launched during side event promoted by LIFE Institute, on second part of the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) that counts with196 nations signatories of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in Montreal, Canada.
Over 80 people attended it in person, in addition to those who watched its online transmission.
LIFE Coalition is formed by a group of business leaders committed to accelerating the insertion of biodiversity conservation into business strategy through the concrete actions and transformative solutions proposed by the LIFE Institute.
The opening remarks were made by Braulio Dias, former executive secretary of CBD and member of LIFE Institute Board of Directors, that pointed out the need of a strong biodiversity agenda. “Without nature we will have less water, less food security, less options in agriculture to adapt to climate change, less options for new medicines and vaccines”, highlights Dias. “The Target 15 of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that is under discussion will will call companies to report regularly on their dependencies on biodiversity and impacts – positive and negative”, he says, commenting that is is noticed a much greater presence of business community this COP than never before. “The business community need to reduce the negative impact and also invest in conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity”, he adds.
After his speech, Regiane Borsato, executive director of LIFE Institute, emphasizes “We believe in the power of influence of the private sector, that’s the reason the LIFE Coalition for Business & Biodiversity is being launched, to scale up biodiversity through businesses”. LIFE international representatives added to the event. David Álvarez, executive director of Eco@csa and LIFE representative in Europe, explained that negative impacts, dependencies and positive impacts that will be part of target 15 are assessed in LIFE Methodology. “When I heard about LIFE Institute works, I immediately knew that I wanted to be part of it, so we’ve started work on Mexico” reminds Isaac Ramírez, founder of Argia Group ad LIFE representative in Latin America, “now, 3 years later, I invite you to learn about this tool, I’m sure you will find this one of the best solutions to finally get ready to relate business with biodiversity conservation”, he adds.
In continuity, Maurício Coelho, CEO of C-Pack, leading company in the production of extruded plastic tubes in Latin America, presented their business case showing how they have incorporated biodiversity conservation into their business strategy with LIFE Certification. “We were already working with 100% recyclable products, uses of renewable raw materials, and services that facilitate the circular economy. After few years, realized that it wasn’t enough, and had to something more direct and more concrete to preserve biodiversity. We found in LIFE Methodology the scientific guidance for understanding our impact and a way for smarter targeting of positive preservation actions”, he says. “Many benefits came from LIFE Certification”, Maurício complements, “the most important was bringing the subject of biodiversity to the center of the discussion. Transforming our institutional positioning into an example for employees, suppliers, and the society around us”. “A key result that we are really proud of is nature’s reaction: the reappearance of a threatened species in the area where it hasn’t been seen since the 70’s, in the protected area were we had removed invasive species as part of our conservation project”, he highlights.
Flávio Goulart, corporate affairs director at JTI, after presenting their business case where they have evaluated over 10 thousand rural producers of their supply chain, mentioned that the application of LIFE Methodology through the software LIFE Key assist them on mapping opportunities, planning strategies and implementing strategic actions with partners, such as supporting the restoration of 335 hectares of permanent protected areas accordingly to Brazilian legislation inside small rural properties and protected areas.
After the presentation of these business cases demonstrating how LIFE solutions concretely insert biodiversity as part of businesses, the founding members of LIFE Coalition for Business & Biodiversity were introduced: Boticário Group, Itaipu Binacional, JTI and Permian Global.
Malu Nunes, Boticario Group representative and executive director of Boticario Group Foundation, recalled the history of the company’s involvement with biodiversity conservation. Boticario Group Foundation finance and develops solutions to measure environmental, social and economic challenges. “Launching the LIFE Coalition for Business & Biodiversity is a step forward” she mentions. “This year we’ve assumed new commitments focusing on nature conservation”, she says, “one example is to better manage, through nature conservation, the natural capital that is critical to the business longevity”. “Mapping natural capital, measuring our impacts and implementing conservation actions that address challenges that go beyond our operations and supply chain”, she explains, “The LIFE Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Matrix was a crucial tool to accomplish these steps”, she added, “It was also fundamental in engaging and convincing all the stakeholders during these process”.
“Through LIFE solutions, we can show and improve our performance in biodiversity conservation, but also could show to our partners and stakeholders the importance of being engaged in biodiversity conservation”, mentions Ariel Scheffer, environment superintendent of Itaipu Binacional, “LIFE Coalition is a great opportunity to involve more companies and more partners in our efforts”, he complements.
To Flávio Goulart, from JTI, “with the Coalition we will have the opportunity to benchmark, comparing our impact with other sectors, sharing experiences. By measuring our impact we can also provide examples of best practices, learning more”, he says, sharing his perspective of another benefit of joining LIFE Coalition.
For Permian Global, a company that develops large-scale, long-term carbon projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Colombia and Brazil, in addition to climate mitigation and generating high quality carbon credits by the forest protection, “our projects must demonstrate net positive impact on biodiversity”, says Alice Alexandre, CEO of Permian Brasil. “We found in LIFE Methodology a high level of consistency to demonstrate our project positive impact in biodiversity conservation. That’s why we decided to take a leading role in biodiversity conservation agenda by joining the LIFE Coalition”, she finalizes, inviting other companies to join the Coalition.
Watch here the video of LIFE Coalition for Business & Biodiversity.