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Developing a corporate biodiversity strategy: A primer for the fashion sector

30 January 2020 – Nature is declining at a rate unprecedented in human history, with one million species now threatened with extinction. This degradation of nature affects society as a whole, including businesses that rely on natural resources, like the fashion sector. This report sets out how companies can create strategies to address their impacts on biodiversity.

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Developing a corporate biodiversity strategyBiodiversity, the living component of nature, is under threat; globally biodiversity is undergoing a precipitous decline. Businesses and society will suffer if this rate of decline continues, not least because the goods and services provided by biodiversity are essential for the stability and resilience of production systems across the world. The current nature crisis demands immediate action and the international community is placing a spotlight on nature in 2020. It is therefore critical for businesses to ensure they have a strategic response to the challenge.

This primer focuses on the practical steps a fashion company can take immediately in order to develop a biodiversity strategy. It draws on a new approach called the Conservation Hierarchy, a flexible framework which can be used to develop strategy and guide decisions about how a company interacts with biodiversity.

This document sets out eight steps to developing a biodiversity strategy. It aims to outline how a strategy should inform a fashion company of its impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and where to prioritise action. It highlights how a company can identify a portfolio of mitigation actions to reduce impacts on and restore biodiversity.

Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs, Kering, said:

“Supporting biodiversity is essential for the stability and resilience of production systems across the world. Adopting a corporate strategy around biodiversity to support nature and at the same time create the foundation for more resilient supply chains is vitally important. Our primer with CISL outlines how a strategy should inform a fashion company of its impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and where to prioritize actions in clear step-by-step recommendations."

About

Biodiversify and The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) led the authorship of this report, with contributions from Kering, Wild Business, the University of Oxford and the Conservation Hierarchy Team. The content of this report was developed from an unpublished report authored by Joe Bull, Prue Addison and Biodiversify. This report was funded by Kering.

 

Citing this report

Cite this report as: Biodiversify & The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). (2020). Developing a Corporate Biodiversity Strategy: A Primer for the Fashion Sector. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.


Download the report here.

Watch the webinar ‘The business of nature: building biodiversity into your strategy'.

January 2020

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Author and Acknowledgements

The lead authors of this report were Dr Sam Sinclair (Biodiversify), Dr Michael Burgess (Biodiversify), Dr Cath Tayleur (CISL) and Dr Gemma Cranston (CISL). The authors would like to thank colleagues at Kering, Wild Business, the University of Oxford and the Conservation Hierarchy Team for their invaluable contributions. The content of this report was developed from an unpublished report authored by Joe Bull, Prue Addison and Biodiversify.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL or any of its individual business partners or clients.