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Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) defines biodiversity as “variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”.
Biodiversity is so complex that most of our planet's biodiversity is yet unexplored. A total of 17,291 species are known to face the threat of extinction due to irresponsible human activities. Already more than 1.5 million species are believed to have become extinct due to several abiotic factors, especially human influences on the environment.
Businesses and Biodiversity are closely interlinked; as businesses depend on the Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services, which form the foundation of all economic activities and provide vital inputs for businesses to function.
Moreover, businesses also have significant impacts on the biodiversity which may limit future business opportunities and profits significantly. Business risks associated with biodiversity loss include disruption of operations, reputational risks and financing risks.
Tata group identifies the strategic importance of Biodiversity conservation and is committed to the valuation of business impacts on Natural Capital as part of Tata Sustainability Policy.
Traditional accounting, while effective at managing financial value, does not track or measure environmental impacts and dependencies. Understanding the positive and negative impacts of the business on the environment is crucial, not only for sustainability, but for better decision making and business strategy.
Actions so far
Collaborations and Partnerships
Tata companies are setting a precedent among the industry peers by being part of or collaborating with national and international business initiatives for conserving biodiversity - like the India Business Biodiversity Initiative and IUCN. These collaborations provide a platform for dialogue sharing and learning with stakeholders, ultimately leading to mainstreaming sustainable management of biological diversity into businesses.
Knowledge Sharing with Group Companies
In its endeavour to drive Natural Capital Valuation within the Tata group, the Tata Sustainability Group has carried out several capacity building and knowledge sharing programmes with group companies, involving academic institutions like the University of Cambridge and other leading practitioners of Natural Capital like the Kering Group.
Tata group is one of the members of Natural Capital Coalition and is playing a crucial role in the formulation of The Natural Capital Protocol. The Natural Capital Protocol is being piloted by a few Tata companies who are interested in accounting and monitoring performance through the 'sustainability lens.’
To access the knowledge resources click here


Preserving Biodiversity
Since 1970s, Tata Power has been involved in the conservation of the habitat that surrounds its hydro power facilities. This includes large-scale forestation through which 13,000,000+ saplings have been planted. This initiative has helped in increasing the water retention capability, rejuvenating the springs, and conserving the local flora and fauna.
Implementing a Comprehensive Program
The Dharti Ko Arpan program at Tata Chemicals runs several initiatives for ecology preservation, species conservation and protection of biodiversity. This includes the mangrove regeneration project near Mithapur, the 'Save the Whale Shark' initiative and creation of Eco Clubs to generate awareness of environmental issues. The program's objective is to integrate all ongoing and planned efforts such as awareness, conservation and greening into a cohesive, multi-stakeholder program.
Partnering with The Rainforest Alliance
Playing its part in increasing the global supply of sustainable tea, Tetley is investing in a comprehensive program with the Rainforest Alliance in all the major tea growing regions. Tetley committed to sourcing 100% of its black teas from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and CAA (Canada, Australia and America) regions by 2016. The Rainforest Alliance is an international not-for-profit conservation organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods.


Protecting the Mahseer
The golden mahseer, found in the Himalayan Rivers, is one of the most sought-after game fish for anglers across the world. This also makes it one of the most endangered species of fish in India. In what can be described as the biggest Indian conservation effort after Project Tiger, these giant fishes weighing up to 26 kg and measuring 9 feet, have received a new lease of life through the consistent efforts of Tata Power since the last 40 years. Each year, the Company breeds 1 to 1.5 Lakh Mahseers, on an average, and gives them away to various states in northern India.
Conserving the Marine Turtle
To protect the breeding sites of globally endangered species of marine Olive Ridley Turtles, TCS along with Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, implemented the marine turtle conservation program on a participatory basis in 2010. The conservation activities include protecting turtles arriving for breeding, building protection nests, constructing hatchery, and releasing hatchlings into their natural habitat.
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