This paper shows how corporate biodiversity performance can be presented in a transparent and concise set of accounts for corporate social responsibility reports and business reviews. The suggested framework follows the same structure as financial reporting, although it doesn’t require the conversion of biodiversity data to monetary values.
The information reported on is produced using the normative biodiversity metric (NBM), an assessment methodology designed to quantify changes in habitats caused by companies’ activities. Information on this methodology is available in ‘Assessing Organisational Biodiversity Performance’ (Jarrett 2011). It is not necessary to use this methodology; the accounts developed here could be used with other, similar habitat assessment methods. It could also be used in co‐ordination with recently developed biodiversity certification approaches (Earthmind 2012; LIFE Institute 2012).
The proposed biodiversity accounts are designed to be presented in sustainability reports of businesses which have a large impact on biodiversity. The framework is designed to provide a few key performance indicators: a) ‘annual biodiversity impact’ (showing changes caused by the organisation over the year); and b) ‘NBM position at year end’ (showing status of all land holdings). These indicators can be extracted from the biodiversity accounts and used as headline measures of environmental performance. Statements such as ‘no net biodiversity loss’ and ‘net positive impact’ can be justified within this accounting framework.