Biodiversity refers to all aspects of life on earth, including humans, animals, plants and microorganisms. In its complexity, biodiversity touches upon social, cultural, economic and ecological dimensions of life. Biodiversity – meaning a rich diversity of species and genetic resources coexisting within diverse, healthy ecosystems – performs crucial functions that life heavily depends on. For Jungbunzlauer, the relevance of biodiversity results not only from the fact that natural products and processes are at the core of our business: we also understand that it is our responsibility to protect and restore biodiversity as part of a global effort by humanity, in which corporate enterprises must take on a leading role.
We rely on intact ecosystems, as imbalance and destruction of ecosystems can have negative impacts on our own business. For example, a loss of biodiversity could cause lower corn yields or water scarcity, leading to higher production costs.
The global commitment to the protection and restoration of biodiversity is outlined in the strategic plans agreed on by the Convention on Biological Diversity. The development of regulatory frameworks and reporting guidelines is an ongoing process which aims to put these strategies into action. Within this dynamic situation, Jungbunzlauer has committed to monitoring and under-standing both current and future requirements around safeguarding biodiversity. The central elements we keep track of in this context are the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the new European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS E4) under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the Science Based Targets for Nature (SBTN) and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). We strive to act in line with these globally recognised standards and guidelines.
The focus on biodiversity has been assigned to dedicated personnel within the Sustainability Team. In addition to sharing knowledge internally, we seek to network with industry peers. For example, our biodiversity experts actively participate in the regular stakeholder meetings of the “Chemie³” sustainability initiative created by the German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie, or VCI). Regular internal and external exchange of know-ledge and communication of updates on biodiversity frameworks ensures visibility of this topic in the Jungbunzlauer corporate agenda and enables long-term planning.
Based on currently available inputs, we developed a “first-steps roadmap” to lay the foundations for establishing a nature-positive corporate strategy on biodiversity in the long term.
The first step is to evaluate the impact of our business activities on biodiversity along the value chain. This includes prioritising the main drivers of biodiversity loss (land and sea use change, direct exploitation, climate change, pollution and invasive species) according to their significance for our business. Clearly, one focus will be on evaluating the impact of land use change resulting from corn cultivation. This is because we recognise that agriculture is one of the most significant drivers of biodiversity loss, but also the one with the highest potential to bring about positive change, as we use large amounts of corn as our raw material for fermentation.
To understand our impact, we will collect data from our sites and suppliers in order to conduct a risk assessment both on a global and local scale. In doing so, we will rely on recognised tools such as IBAT (Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool), GLOBIO, the Biodiversity Footprint Calculator and the WWF Biodiversity Risk Filter.
Our aim is to protect the environment, and therefore biodiversity. This means using natural resources efficiently and managing biodiversity risks along the supply chain. We want to minimise any negative effects on ecosystems.
We aim to better understand our impact on biodiversity in our area of influence in order to set appropriate targets and implement meaningful measures.
The topic of biodiversity is becoming increasingly important in terms of regulatory requirements.
At the European level, biodiversity is also becoming increasingly important within the framework of the EU taxonomy and the Green Deal, which includes the Farm to Fork strategy. The CSRD and the new ESRS require information regarding biodiversity and ecosystems to be considered and reported.
Regulatory requirements are being closely monitored and biodiversity topics will be regularly communicated during Sustainability Team meetings.
Our goal is to have a list of prioritised fields of action, along with suitable indicators and tools for measurement, by the end of 2023. Based on these first steps, we will strive to prevent our activities from having a harmful impact on protected areas, reduce our potential negative impact and ultimately create positive impacts on biodiversity. We will report on the topic of biodiversity in the CDP questionnaire. We plan to report on the topic of biodiversity within the EcoVadis programme in the future.