Der aktuelle Newsletter von 'Biodiversity in Good Company' ist da!
Newsletter 5_2015 Berlin, 16 July 2015
Photo: Christel Bock

Dear readers,

In our July newsletter we are giving the floor to a company that helped significantly to launch 'Biodiversity in Good Company' ahead of CBD-COP 9 in Bonn in 2008: GIZ. In accordance with its corporate purpose, the federal enterprise is engaged in many projects targeting biological diversity. But GIZ also explores what it can do to promote biodiversity in the context of its own environmental and sustainability management.

Our purpose as a company platform is to join forces by bringing together and showcasing the commitment and competencies of companies from various business sectors. We are very pleased that this has just recently been acknowledged by the German UN Decade on Biological Diversity that awarded our initiative for its ongoing efforts

This motivates us – just like the fact that the initiative continues to grow. A few days ago automobile manufacturer AUDI AG signed the Initiative's Leadership Declaration and became a member, thus underlining that biodiversity and intact ecosystems are material topics in today's corporate sustainability strategies. Around 80,000 employees work for AUDI today and the company generated revenue of app. 54 billion euros in 2014. Our new member will soon be portrayed on our website.

Enjoy reading! 

Yours sincerely, 
'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative



Dr. Christoph Beier, Member of the Management Board of GIZ GmbH, Photo: GIZ

Dr. Christoph Beier, Member of the Management Board of GIZ GmbH, Photo: GIZ

»The rural populations in our partner countries are particularly hard-hit by loss of biodiversity. For this reason, GIZ works on behalf of the German Government to implement projects in developing countries, supporting its partners in achieving the objectives set out in the Convention on Biological Diversity. Here in Germany, we also have a great responsibility to protect biological diversity. We can influence the way in which goods are produced or how much waste is created through purchasing decisions and our behaviour. Accordingly, we set great store by protecting biodiversity as part of our corporate environmental management.«

Biodiversity is an integral part of international cooperation

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise that supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. It works in more than 130 countries worldwide and has registered offices in Bonn and Eschborn.

For GIZ, campaigning for the environment, nature and biodiversity is part of its identity. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), GIZ therefore launched the Biodiversity in Good Company initiative in May 2008 and implemented it until 2010. By it's own membership the GIZ is taking on a key role in setting an example for its partners and commissioning parties in the area of resource protection.

Within GIZ’s work, biodiversity forms an integral part of two priority areas. GIZ provides advisory services in this field around the world and implements numerous biodiversity protection projects in developing countries and emerging economies. Biodiversity is also a cross-cutting theme in corporate sustainability management.

Biodiversity as a goal of service provision in local projects

Loss of biodiversity is often particularly rapid in species-rich ecosystems in developing countries, where it threatens the economic environment and the livelihoods of local people, especially the poor.

Co-Management in the Amazon region, Peru: This project promotes shared management of nature conservation areas by state agencies and the local population in Peru. Photo: GIZ Peru (K.Toepfer)

Sustainable Forest Management in the SADC Region: The project develops strategies and instruments to implement income generating measures for sustainable forest management in the SADC region. Photo: GIZ Mozambique (W.Thies)

Conservation and rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems in the Philippines: The project works to better protect and restore coastal ecosystems in the Philippines. The focus is on responsible management. Photo: GIZ Philippines

To bring a halt to this biodiversity loss by 2020, GIZ's work in projects in developing countries and emerging economies is aligned with the objectives set out in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. Protecting biodiversity spans a wide range of areas, from development-oriented nature conservation - especially in relation to marine biodiversity - and promoting sustainable use of biodiversity in the fishing, timber and agriculture sectors to participation in the benefits of biodiversity and associated services, for example through access and benefit sharing. And we continue to work with our partner countries on adapting their ecosystems to climate change and implementing the REDD+ mechanism.

At the Ninth Conference of the Parties to the CBD in 2008, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged EUR 500 million each year from 2013 for the protection of forests and other ecosystems. Against this backdrop, GIZ's portfolio in this area has expanded steadily over recent years and will continue to grow. In particular, protection of biodiversity will form an increasingly important part of other sectoral projects, including agriculture and waste and wastewater management.

GIZ is now implementing some 145 biodiversity protection projects in around 60 countries (as at June 2014).
Launch of the India Business and Biodiversity Initiative, Photo: GIZ India

Launch of the India Business and Biodiversity Initiative, Photo: GIZ India

India: Business and Biodiversity

Inspired by Biodiversity in Good Company, the India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) was launched in May 2014 as part of the Indo-German Biodiversity Programme. The IBBI is based within the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India's largest business association, and is open to companies of all sizes and across all sectors.
19 leading companies and groups are currently signed up to the initiative. Among other things, participating companies undertake to create corporate awareness of the issue of biodiversity, to appoint 'biodiversity champions', and to introduce a biodiversity management system that pursues specific corporate goals and reports on progress every two years. The IBBI also operates as a communications platform, disseminating practical experience and facilitating exchanges with relevant government agencies, such as India's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, environmental organisations and experts.

Biodiversity as a cross-cutting theme in corporate sustainability management

For GIZ, corporate environmental management and the procurement system are the key tools for protecting biodiversity at corporate level.
Wildflower meadow in front of the new building in Bonn, Photo: Christel Bock

Wildflower meadow in front of the new building in Bonn, Photo: Christel Bock

Within its environmental management strategy, GIZ’s starting point for influencing local biodiversity is its own premises and business practices. When we build at our main locations, we develop our own biodiversity concept, which ensures that grounds and roofs are planted with indigenous species and that soil sealing is minimised. 
Other fundamental components of our environmental management include using water, energy and paper efficiently and eliminating waste and emissions.

Through its green procurement strategy, GIZ ensures that all framework contracts and purchasing decisions take account not only of social aspects, but also above all of environmental issues, quality, and value for money. Under framework contracts, we purchase products that meet established environmental standards or environmentally friendly alternatives. 

In its staff canteen and at its events, GIZ offers fairly traded organic coffee and MSC- or ASC-certified fish. Wood for construction materials and office equipment has to be eco-labelled as coming from a sustainable source, and we use only recycled paper for printing. In Eschborn, our catering supplier has committed itself to protecting species diversity by ensuring agrobiodiversity in the food and drinks it supplies.

In 2015, the canteen management team leased a meadow orchard in the federal state of Hessen, which is managed by a group of employees. The indigenous fruit varieties it produces will be sold in the canteen in future.
The bee group is looking after the colonies of bees on the company’s premises, Photo: Umweltinitiative Eschborn

The bee group is looking after the colonies of bees on the company’s premises, Photo: Umweltinitiative Eschborn

Employees have also independently taken the initiative to work to protect local biodiversity. In Eschborn, for example, they have launched an environmental initiative, while a bee group looks after two colonies of bees on the company’s premises. The honey the bees produce is sold at the GIZ Christmas fair, with the proceeds being donated to a good cause.
In Bonn, meanwhile, an environmental team supports compliance with biodiversity in the staff canteen and in the construction work on the new ‘Meander Building’.

Staff in our country and project offices are joining in with their own biodiversity initiatives. In Viet Nam, for example, staff ran a campaign urging their colleagues not to eat game or meat that had been poached, to raise awareness of the issue locally. In Madagascar, meanwhile, staff have been briefed on organic and local produce.

Further information

The publication "Committed to Biodiversity - Germany's International Cooperation in Support of the Concention on Biological Diversity for Sustainable Development" provides further information on the biodiversity related projects and on GIZ’s local work.

Here you can find further information on the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH within the company network 'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative.

Please contact Svenja Peony Loos, Sustainability Office GIZ, should you have any further inquiries.


News from our Network and Member Companies

Initiative awarded by UN Decade on Biodiversity.

Initiative again awarded by UN Decade on Biodiversity

In February 2013, 'Biodiversity in Good Company’ was awarded by the German UN Decade on Biological Diversity platform as an outstanding initiative. Now the expert jury has decided to renew this award, paying tribute to the ongoing sustainable commitment of the network and its members. That’s thanks to all of our members that support the initiative!

Further reading
Wilde Buchen im FinalForest, Bild: ForestFinance

Beech forest, Photo: ForestFinance

A unique forest cemetery: ForestFinance creates tomorrow’s primeval forest

Primeval forests are rare and endangered, even in Germany. ForestFinance is involved in their conservation in an unusual way: together with the municipality of Hümmel, the company has managed a one-of-a-kind forest cemetery, established in November 2013.

Further reading
Ein Seeadler als eine der bedrohten Tierarten; Bild: VW

Sea eagle, Photo: Volkswagen

Governmental report supports Volkswagen’s environmental protection strategy

Volkswagen's efforts concerning the protection of endangered animals and plants are backed up by the first Species Protection Report of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.

Further reading
Die Implementierung eines Bewässerungssystems mit gereinigtem Abwasser, Bild: Haifeng Zhang

The implementation of an irrigation system with pre-treated sewage water, Photo: Haifeng Zhang

ForestFinance develops a concept tackling the afforestation of arid regions

ForestFinance has developed a sustainable concept tackling the afforestation of arid regions together with the newly founded DesertTimber Consulting. The approach has been tested in a successful pilot project in Egypt and will be extended to other areas.

Further reading

Veolia publishes Commitments for Sustainable Development

Biodiversity is a main issue for the Group and therefore it is one of the environmental objectives in the Commitments for Sustainable Development of Veolia.

Further reading

Further News

India Business & Biodiversity Initiative offers trainings on natural capital management

In an increasingly natural resource-constrained world, corporations should measure, manage and mitigate their impact on the ecosystems where they operate and through their supply chains. To help build this capacity into company infrastructure, our partner organisation in India, the India Business & Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI), together with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is launching the "CII-IBBI Certified Training (CICT) on Managing Natural Capital".  

Further reading

Worth reading

"In-depth Report Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity" published by the European Commission 
How do biodiversity and ecosystem services interact? In May, a new report on that matter was published on behalf of the European Commission. It is helpful also for companies who strive to get a better understanding and want to communicate on this issue.

Further reading
WBCSD Issue Brief for Business: Land Degradation Neutrality 
The goal of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) was agreed upon at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012. LDN means maintaining or improving the condition of global land resources. In its issue brief, the WBCSD explains what that may mean for businesses. 

Further reading
New manual on tourism and biodiversity
A new manual, published by the CBD together with partners, highlights the important role tourism plays for biodiversity and aims to improve knowledge and materials to better integrate biodiversity into sustainable tourism development. The manual is a reference tool for planners, developers, managers and decision makers involved with tourism development and resource management in areas of sensitive biodiversity. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2015): Tourism supporting Biodiversity – A Manual on applying the CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development. Montreal.

Further reading


INVITATION 2015 CBD Business Forum on 11/12 November 2015 in Helsinki
Corporate responsibility and biodiversity specialists from around the world convene in Helsinki, Finland, to exchange knowledge on companies´ latest practices on business and biodiversity. This two-day event gathers around 250 participants globally.

Further reading

Imprint and Disclaimer

'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative e. V.
Pariser Platz 6
10117 Berlin, Germany
Tel +49.(0)30-226050-10/-11
Fax +49.(0)30-226050-19

Registry Court: Amtsgericht Charlottenburg, Vereinsregister-Nr. VR 31061 B
Board according to German law § 26 BGB 

Managing Director (according to German law § 30 BGB):
Dr. Katrin Reuter
Tel. +49.(0)30-226050 -11, Fax -19

Disclaimer: The information in this newsletter has been carefully researched and diligently compiled. Nevertheless, 'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative does not accept any liability or give any guarantee for the validity, accuracy and completeness of the information provided. This publication may contain links to third-party web sites. The linked sites are not under the control of the 'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative and 'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative is not responsible for the contents of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site. 

Aleph – Alois Omlor GmbH – AUDI – BahnLog – BIONADE – Coca-Cola Deutschland – einhorn products – followfood – ForestFinance – Gertrudenhof – GIZ – Hebenstreit & Kentrup – HeidelbergCement – HiPP – Knauf – Milupa – Neumarkter Lammsbräu – oekom verlag – Pharmos Natur – Reckhaus – REWE Group – Ritter Sport – Schmeer Sand+Kies – Staedtler – Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings – Symrise – Tchibo – travel-to-nature – UPM – Volkswagen – Werner & Mertz