Briefing: Natural Capital and Biodiversity

SLR's Stewart Lenton and Bob Edmonds will be leading a briefing discussion on 'Natural Capital and Biodiversity: What does it really mean, what's going to be included in future legislation, and what can businesses do in order to benefit from it.'. This is being hosted by the FDF and there are two chances to attend at different locations across the country. It will be held on the 7th of October in London and the 26th of November in Edinburgh. You can register on the Food and Drink Federation website.

Managing ‘Natural Capital’ and providing ‘Environmental Net Gain’ has risen in prominence since the ‘25 Year Environment Plan’ placed a ’Natural Capital Approach’ at the centre of future environmental policy. It is also a Core Ambition in the FDF’s Ambition 2025: Shaping Sustainable Value Chain. BSi are developing a new British Standard for Natural Capital.

Government policy, the National Planning Policy Framework 2019, clearly states that sustainable development follows the mitigation hierarchy and seeks opportunities to deliver Biodiversity Net Gain through new development. The process of measuring Biodiversity Net Gain has been established through the adoption of 10 core principles, supported by detailed industry guidance published in 2019. DEFRA are in the process of updating a standard metric for measuring biodiversity gains and losses (the DEFRA Bio Metric 2.0) and the BSi are well advanced in development of a British Standard on Biodiversity Net Gain (BS8683). These activities set the framework for delivery of the Chancellor’s commitment to legally mandate Biodiversity Net Gain for development made in his Spring Statement.

But what do Natural Capital, Environmental and Biodiversity Net Gain really mean? And furthermore how can businesses of all sizes benefit from integrating a Natural Capital Approach into their decision making?

This briefing will explain what Natural Capital, Environmental and Biodiversity Net Gain are. It will provide an update on the current position with respect to the 25yr plan; introduce good practice in designing development projects to follow Biodiversity Net Gain Principles and update on DEFRA’s new Biodiversity Metric 2.0 and emerging British Standards.

In addition to providing some case studies of how businesses have begun to apply natural capital and biodiversity to their business, assets and supply chain.

Speakers: Stewart Lenton and Bob Edmonds, SLR Consulting Ltd.

Stewart Lenton: Stewart has over 30 years’ experience in Environmental Consulting, and has extensively worked with both public sector and private sector clients, across a wide range of sectors. Stewart is a member of the Environment Industries Committee Natural Capital Task Force.

Bob Edmonds: Bob has been an Ecologist in Environmental Consulting for over 20 years; principally focusing on ecological impact assessment, biodiversity net gain and protected species mitigation. Bob represented SLR on the Advisory Forum of the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP) from 2008-2018 and worked closely with the team that developed the 2012 DEFRA metric, testing an early version on a UK mining project that committed to biodiversity net gain. Bob was a contributing author for both the Biodiversity Net Gain Principles and the detailed good practice guide. He is currently a committee member for BS8683 on Biodiversity Net Gain. Bob co-authored the base habitat classification – UKHab – that is used in both the DEFRA Biodiversity Metric 2.0 and DEFRA’s emerging Eco-Metric.