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Other Initiatives

Other environmental initiatives will have direct and indirect benefits for biodiversity.

Energy efficiency

Climate change is one of the most pressing environmental problems of our time. There is no longer serious scientific debate about whether climate change is occurring - or that human emissions of greenhouse gases are a major driver of this change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN scientific body responsible for analysing available data and providing information on this issue, has concluded that climate change will lead to a severe adverse impact on habitats and wildlife as well as ecosystems and the services they provide.
See the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change website at: www.ipcc.ch.

Carbon dioxide, released by burning fossil fuels, is the most significant greenhouse gas, and all businesses can take measures to reduce energy use and increase energy efficiency, thus reducing the production of carbon dioxide. You can also partially offset your carbon dioxide emissions through contributing to carbon sequestration schemes, which remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through, for example, planting trees.

Implementing an energy efficiency scheme can contribute to biodiversity conservation - and may save your company money! You can find information about business and climate change, and guidance on implementing energy efficiency schemes, on the following websites:

Emissions reduction

Most of your company's emissions will be regulated and controlled by statutory obligations and monitoring agencies. These will give legally acceptable level of emissions for given substances and modes of emissions. However, these levels may not fully account for some sub-lethal effects which may have effects on organisms over the longer term. For example, hormone-like chemicals emitted at low levels can accumulate in fish body tissues and affect breeding success. This makes a population more vulnerable to extinction, because it is less able to recover from adverse impacts, such as unplanned pollution events, dry summers or over-fishing. By reviewing your operations it may be possible to achieve emission reduction targets that go beyond compliance, resulting in benefits to biodiversity both locally and over longer distances.

Useful links:
Environment Agency
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Environmental Information Exchange

Waste reduction and recycling

Waste is an unavoidable by-product of all businesses - from the small scale production of domestic and office waste to the hazardous wastes associated with some manufacturing processes. Waste disposal - whether by incineration or landfill - can impact on biodiversity as a result of loss of habitat through direct landtake, leachates affecting groundwater and release of greenhouse and other gases to the atmosphere. By examining waste production in all aspects of your business and implementing schemes to minimise and recycle waste you can reduce your impacts on biodiversity - and improve your bottom line!

See this site for information on the business benefits of waste reduction and a guide to making it happen in your company:

Photo Credit: Peter Wakely/English Nature

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