Biodiversity Footprint

Calculation of the biodiversity footprint of a company or product, both for a current and alternative or future situation, to assess changes in impact and effectiveness of mitigation and pro-biodiversity actions.

Based on existing pressure based cause-effect relations for 4 pressure factors: Land use, Greenhouse gas emissions, Water use, and Nitrogen and Phosphorus emissions to water. The indicator combines the area of impact with the impact on the quality of biodiversity (‘naturalness’) in the impacted area, expressed in MSA.ha.

Calculation for each part of production chain. Different from existing LCA methods as it is location specific, software independent and there are no costs involved! Required data from companies involved in the production chain. Method can also be used to calculate biodiversity footprint of entire sectors.

Target group:
Companies that would like to carry out a quick assessment of their biodiversity footprint, who want to calculate the effectiveness of their biodiversity friendly measures, or who want to find out what the main pressure factors are and where the highest impact can be found.

Developed by:
Consortium of Plansup, Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra), Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), CREM and JSScience.

Case studies:
Desso (carpets), DSM( health food and materials), Foreco (wood products), Moyee (coffee), Natural Plastics (bio-plastic tree support system), Tony Chocolonely (chocolate), Better Future Factory (products from recycled materials), Schut Papier (paper), Dutch dairy sector.

You can download a factsheet of the Biodiversity footprint method here.
A 1-page description of the method can be opened here in English or Dutch.

Web tool: The Biodiversity Footprint Calculator
A simplified Biodiversity Footprint web tool has been developed by Plansup in collaboration with Saxion. More on this tool can be found here.

Detailed case study reports Biodiversity Footprint Methodology

Two full reports in Dutch are made plus two summaries in English.

The 1st report in Dutch entitled ”Biodiversiteitsvoetafdruk koploperbedrijven‘ provides a detailed description of the methodology and pressures included are Land use change, Greenhouse gas emissions and Nitrogen and Phosphorus emissions to water. The method is implemented in three case studies: Desso (carpets) DSM (dextrose production) and the Dutch dairy sector.

The short 1st English summary report describes the methodology in brief and shows the most interesting findings of the three case studies: 
Summary Biodiversity Footprint for 3 case studies

In the follow up report seven additional case studies have been added and an additional pressure factor has been investigated for two cases: Water extraction. The companies for which a footprint analysis has been carried out are: Desso, DSM, Foreco ,Moyee, Natural Plastics , Tony Chocolonely, Better Future Factory, Schut Papier. In addition, a footprint analysis has been made for the Dutch dairy sector.

The 2nd report provides a detailed description of 7 additional company cases, used assumptions, methodology and results is in Dutch and can be downloaded here: Biodiversiteitsvoetafdruk van bedrijven 2017.

The 2nd English summary report with a short description of all additional cases and analysis results can be downloaded too:
Biodiversity footprint of companies (7 case studies).

In case you are interested to implement the footprint methodology for your company but would like to get some support you can send Wilbert van Rooij an e-mail.
Advise can be provided, e.g. regarding:

  • Inventory data requirements
  • Collecting missing data (e.g. for certain production chain elements)
  • Defining biodiversity friendly alternatives / scenario’s
  • Setting up the calculation spreadsheets
  • Calculation of current and future / alternative footprint
  • Testing effectiveness of your pro-biodiversity measures
  • Reporting about your measures to reduce your footprint