Business meets Biodiversity Conference 2012

How can companies successfully integrate the sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity into their business models? This was the central question at the international conference ‘Business Meets Biodiversity’ held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on June 27th 2012. The organizing committee, consisting of the Copernicus Institute of Utrecht University in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Hivos, Rabobank Group, WWF-NL and Tropenbos International, brought together a unique showcase of international frontrunner companies and experts to demonstrate the potential of business to have a neutral or even positive impact on nature. The conference made clear that profitable business can go hand in hand with a positive balance for nature; while ‘no-net-loss’ of biodiversity is rapidly becoming the new norm in business.

Through a series of inspiring speakers, panel discussion and interactive sessions, the Business Meets Biodiversity Conference aimed to:

  • Provide a state-of-the-art overview of the trends in the field of business and biodiversity.
  • Share key insights from frontrunner companies engaged in biodiversity-friendly agriculture, ecosystem restoration and nature conservation.
  • Explore and contribute to opportunities for scaling up biodiversity-friendly business, with a focus on fund creation and the role of multinational companies.

I participated in this conference as reporter and extra pair of hands on the set. I experienced the event as inspiring on many fronts. It was great to see companies and environmental scientists working and thinking together about the way forward, realising each of them need the other. The case studies of some international companies with sustainable business cases were truly interesting. I think and hope that these frontrunner companies set a new norm, strengthened by the realisation that with a smart, sustainable business plan, profitable business and a positive balance for nature can go hand in hand.

The highlights of the presentations and discussions are summarized in the conference report, which you can download here. < Download Conference Report [PDF] >

For more information klick here to visit the conference website, or here to visit the website of the Copernicus Intitute.

Underneath you find a video compilation of the day. Pictures above are made by Irene Vijfvinkel.