VyraNews #10: How a Business Can Measure Biodiversity Impact

Happy Friday 🌱

How can a company measure its impact on biodiversity? 

Simply put, biodiversity refers to all plants, mammals and living things: nature!

Let’s talk.

I discovered a new metric 🧐


This measures the number of species (plants and animals) that would be lost from a region over a year due to the activity of your organisation in that area. 

If hundreds of organisations operate in the same region (as they normally do), then I imagine measuring each organisation’s impact on species loss is very tough.

It can’t just be split up equally between them?

Here is a simple graph of the Guardian Newspaper’s ‘species.year’ impact from 2023. 

Unsurprisingly, the production of their newspaper has the biggest impact on species.

Looking at this illustration of their supply chain, We can derive one key and easy-to-understand insight: the fewer trees that are cut down to create newspapers, the better nature will be.

But we need newspapers!?

Whether it’s tabloid, broadsheet, high street, country road and everything in between, people need information.

More immediately in the UK, there is a new metric called Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG).

A biodiversity credit scheme that attempts to ensure all new road and housebuilding projects benefit nature rather than damage it. All new building projects must achieve a 10% net gain in biodiversity or habitat.

I am already seeing the metric being baked into the strategy of large companies across the UK.

Sophus zu Ermgassen, an ecological economist from the University of Oxford, said the scheme is “world-leading in its scope” because it addresses all new construction and covers all natural habitats.

So, what should an organisation do to measure its impact on nature?

  1. Measure their carbon footprint.

    This is the all-important first step; what gets measured matters. 

To summarise what’s important in this graphic - almost all of the Guardian’s emissions (98.7%) come from their ‘supply chain’; a keen investigator would uncover that most of this comes from the process of printing and producing their paper. This will look different for every company. 

#measured by: % of total carbon footprint measured.

  1. Learn how to reduce their carbon footprint over time. 

The all-important second step where the action begins, Vyra exists in this space, enabling organisations to begin reducing their footprint by training key people to understand exactly how the company impacts the environment.

#measured by: % of total emissions reduced YoY. 

  1. Invest in a regional biodiversity restoration project. 

Tree planting and habitat restoration are immediate ways to reverse the negative effects of a business’s impact. It’s an absolute no-brainer. It is important that it is regional; you must be able to verify the project's legitimacy. Vyra’s partnership with Irish Trees allows us and our clients across the UK & I to do this on an ongoing basis.

#measured by: total number of trees/habitats restored YoY.

What’s next?

March Webinar: How to Accelerate Board-level Buy-in to Sustainability Strategy with Special Guest.

The webinar has been postponed til March 21st at 12:00 pm

We have confirmed our special guest, who we will announce in our next exclusive subscriber invite next week. 

Registration takes 30 seconds - make sure to add it to your calendar.