Challenges and objectives

“We need a wise union between biodiversity and economy” – these were the words of ex EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, spoken at a nature preservation conference in October 2011 in Vienna.

The global, man-made extinction of species is increasing dramatically. It is over a 1000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. The loss of flora and fauna weakens the ability of ecosystems to provide valuable benefits for humans and thus impacts our economy and our enterprises negatively as well.

If this ruthless exploitation continues, we can count on an annual 7% decline in global production rates until the year 2050 (Business and Biodiversity Campaign). This corresponds more or less to the economic cost of climate change which was calculated in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published by Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank.

An efficient preservation of biodiversity requires cross-sectorial solutions. That is why there needs to be a stronger focus on co-operation with the private sector. This approach has been found to be appealing on EU level and shall now be implemented in a pilot project within Lower Austria.

Goal no. 1: Increase awareness in companies regarding the value of biodiversity and its benefits for our ecosystem.

Goal no. 2: Enable companies to take action and become proactive (inviting nature to company premises, sponsoring endangered species, corporate volunteering etc.).

Goal no. 3: Inform the population about the value of biodiversity and its benefits for our ecosystem and also about the positive role which companies play.