The health of our planet is vitally important, and I believe we can work together to restore biodiversity and create the world we want to see through our brands and businesses, at home, and as a community, locally, nationally and globally.
What is biodiversity and why is it important?
In a nutshell, the word biodiversity stands for the rich variety of all living entities on earth.
As humans we vitally need biodiversity in order for us to survive and thrive, keeping us healthy and safe. We are all interconnected with nature and its amazing natural ecosystems. When these are allowed to flourish they are uniquely able to help prevent flooding, erosion and pollution and more.
We are already seeing the devastating impact of the loss of biodiversity
“Around the world storms, floods and wildfires are intensifying. Air pollution sadly affects the health of tens of millions of people and unpredictable weather causes untold damage to homes and livelihoods too. But while the impacts of climate change are devastating, advances in tackling it are leading to cleaner air, creating good jobs, restoring nature and at the same time unleashing economic growth. Despite the opportunities we are not acting fast enough.” COP26
There is a real sense of urgency to get the world back on track to limit global warming and protect communities and natural habitats.
The authorities and leaders of nations are uniting together in Glasgow for COP26 (Conference of the parties) during Oct/Nov 2021 about tackling climate change. We can also make an impact through our purpose-led brands and communities from grass roots up to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals , reduce carbon emissions and restore biodiversity.
How you live out your brand purpose matters more than ever
I recently attended an inspiring webinar with Habitat Matters about the importance of biodiversity and habitat protection. It had a great panel with speakers from The Natural History Consortium (BNHC), The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), discussing how they are overcoming some of the challenges by developing and refining their brand messaging in order to:
- re-engage people on their own terms
- provide hope
- and re-energise action for nature.
Re-addressing the balance and highlighting the importance of biodiversity
The Habitat Matters panel cited that we are all often asked to take various small actions to help save our planet and tackle climate change:
- cycle to work
- be green
- plant wildflowers
- use solar panels
- act now
- say no to plastic
- sign a petition
- make a donation
- beach clean
- litter pick on your walk
- (and many more besides)
Whilst all these small asks are all well intentioned and make a big difference, the issue that has become apparent is that the sheer number of asks can quickly amount to inaction.
It can generate a feeling of overwhelm and bombardment. This in turn makes the issue of climate change feel insurmountable. On top of this are the warning headlines stating ‘The world is currently not on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees’.
How you, as a purpose-led founder, can help make an impact through your brand for biodiversity:
“We need to back nature with the same energy we have seen in relation to the clean technology revolution. As governments plan their economic recoveries from Covid-19, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reconcile our economies with the natural world and deliver a greener, safer and more prosperous future.” Lord Zac Goldsmith Minister for pacific and the environment
The Natural History Consortium are simplifying the many asks into 4 key actions for nature. These actions help people understand, decide and adapt, how they can help make an impact within their own means and abilities:
- Take less (this helps reduce consumer footprint / reduce waste)
- Choose better (look for renewable, sustainable alternatives for products and resources, energy providers, banks, service providers for your business – by using your buying power you add to the voice of change. B Corp have a free sustainability impact assessment tool you can use, whatever size your business or organisation is from solo entrepreneurs and up, and provides insights on areas you can start to make improvements)
- Demand more (from policy makers, businesses, suppliers, your local communities and government – share what is important to you and why your brand cares)
- Give back to nature (gifting time, space or funding, B1G1 (Buy 1, give 1), 1% for the planet)
The rewards not only benefit the wellbeing of our beautiful, fragile planet but our lives too. We need natural spaces as much as nature needs to be allowed green spaces to restore our planet and thrive once again.
Consider changes you can implement within your organisation’s:
- supply chain
- choice of causes you support
- and how people can effortlessly make a difference by simply choosing your services or products
Restoring biodiverse habitats and thriving spaces
The Conservation Volunteers are supporting local community networks to create green spaces for people and nature. A space for everyone, that sees communities working together, diversity, creating opportunities for children and adults alike to reconnect with nature, to learn new skills, develop confidence and resilience whilst improving the health and wellbeing of the people and environment.
RHS are inspiring people that they can make a difference by starting on their own doorstep, quite literally:
- from transforming paved driveways to thriving, accessible, free-draining surfaces with low level plant vegetation beautifully marking the parking bays for cars
- to creating window boxes
- green roofs
- wall climbers
- replacing fences with mixed hedges…
…to help grow biodiversity to support biodiversity.
These ideas can be adapted for the spaces you have to bring many benefits for you and nature:
- support wildlife (shelter for birds, pollen for insects etc)
- allowing you to get up close with and observe nature
- pollution capture
- improving the air quality
- building resilience for species, against environmental degradation by having the right plants for the right places
- saving money, resources and energy (by providing natural insulation (green roofs / wall climbers) and harvesting rain water)
Brand purpose-led action for nature and people:
For each of my clients that embark on their brand adventure this year I’ve pledged to donate a tree. These will be planted with the National Trust’s ‘Plant a tree fund’ to help create beautiful thriving, biodiverse spaces for people and wildlife to enjoy.
My clients are also a continued source of inspiration and a force for good. They inspire hope in people and the planet. I love the fact that the work we do together goes far beyond the design brief. I help them to create a rich compelling brand that shares their amazing story and grows their business, so that it thrives organically inside and out. This enables them to do more of what they love, whilst increasing the impact they make in other’s lives and our planet.
At home we are also planting wild flowers, bee loving lavenders and trees (with plans to create a patch of seasonal edible plants). This will not only provide a beautiful habitat for wildlife, create a space we can enjoy outside as well as from the studio window, but also hopefully enjoyment for neighbours, walkers and their four legged friends as they pass by.
Together we can make a positive difference to the lives and wellbeing of people and our planet, today and for future generations, brand by brand, and from our own doorsteps.
Design & Illustration: Becks Neale