How LIFE Methodology works

The LIFE Methodology for Business and Biodiversity is an instrument that enables a clear and objective analysis of pressure, impacts (positive and negative), risks, dependencies and opportunities in business’ relationship with biodiversity.

Applied through the LIFE Key software, it offers metrics that allow organizations to quantitatively and qualitatively assess and monitor their performance in relation to biodiversity. In this way, its application strategically guides organizations in making more effective and efficient decisions with their investments in conservation actions.

LIFE Methodology for Business and Biodiversity has three interrelated steps:

With the application of the first step of the LIFE Methodology for Business and Biodiversity, organizations perform a diagnosis of their biodiversity management.

On this step, an initial assessment of the company’s management system and commercial operations is carried out. To understand the context in which the business is inserted, the landscape is characterized with the identification of the ecoregion(s), the hydrographic region, the conservation priorities and the threatened species of flora and fauna. At the same time, conservation actions already implemented by the organization are identified.

The organization’s management system is evaluated in accordance with the LIFE Standard for Business and Biodiversity, which presents Management Principles, Criteria and Indicators, applicable according to the sector and type of business operation. To access the documents of the LIFE Standard and Premises on which it was based, click here.

The evaluation of the effectiveness of the conservation actions already implemented by the organizations follows guidelines that consider both national and international biodiversity conservation priorities and the effectiveness of the actions carried out. Information on these priorities is updated and systematized here.

The scoring system for conservation actions prioritizes initiatives with greater potential for maintaining ecosystem services and conserving biodiversity in a shorter period of time.

For example, actions for the creation and protection of legally protected areas (so-called ‘Conservation Units’, in Brazil) guarantee a direct and effective return for the maintenance of ecosystems’ services,  therefore, they score more than actions carried out with a focus on the protection of a single species. More details on this scoring system can be found here.

In the second step, the pressure exerted by the organization’s activities is evaluated. The Biodiversity Pressure Index (BPI) is calculated, which considers environmental aspects such as energy and water consumption, waste generation, greenhouse gas emissions and land use index, considering both quantity and severity.

The BPI is an index, on a scale from 0 to 1000, which allows comparability between units within the same organization as well as between different organizations and sectors of activities.

At the same time, the impacts, dependencies, risks and opportunities of the business’ relationship with biodiversity are evaluated through the LIFE Matrix of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

After collecting all this information, the methodology calculates the minimum performance required in conservation actions to compensate for the impact caused by the use of natural resources.

More information on how this calculation is done is available here.

LIFE Key software

Learn more:

How LIFE Methodology was developed?   

LIFE Methodology Differentials?   

LIFE documents