Biodiversity Impact Accounting: A Solution for Mining Companies

April 18, 2023
Biodiversity Impact Accounting: A Solution for Mining Companies

Mining companies have long faced challenges in measuring and reporting their impact on biodiversity. As concerns about biodiversity impacts and risks continue to gain prominence in the evolving ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) framework for the mining sector — in other words, measurement criteria built around organizations’ sustainability impact and ethical practices — there is a growing need for a standard approach to measure and report biodiversity gains and losses, and to measure the effectiveness of biodiversity impact management programs and policies. That’s where Biodiversity Impact Accounting comes in.

KC Harvey Environmental, LLC provides Biodiversity Impact Accounting services to mining companies to help them evaluate their impact on biodiversity and measure progress towards specific goals in this arena. KC Harvey uses a Biological Diversity Protocol methodology to assess biodiversity impacts, from project planning and development to site-specific impact assessment during construction, operations, reclamation, and closure. The result is a customized biodiversity impact inventory based on ecosystems and key species, analyzed using standard accounting principles to determine the current biodiversity impacts as well as gains and losses over time.

KC Harvey presents the results in a standardized format suitable for internal or external reporting, and also identifies potential risks and provides recommendations for achieving local, national, and global biodiversity goals. Biodiversity impacts can be assessed for a single operation or for multiple operations if companies are reporting at the regional or corporate level. This provides mining companies with a basis for setting targets and measuring progress, and a range of management approaches can be compared to identify actions with greater positive biodiversity impacts or appropriate mitigation strategies.

Example illustration of site ecosystem condition scoring from pre-development through reclamation.

Biodiversity Impact Accounting is also a valuable planning tool for comparing impacts of potential acquisitions or developments on biodiversity. KC Harvey recently completed a Biodiversity Impact Accounting assessment for Sibanye-Stillwater's Platinum Group Metals Operations based in Montana, USA, as part of an ongoing effort to manage and disclose biodiversity-related metrics across Sibanye-Stillwater's global operations.

KC Harvey's Biodiversity Impact Accounting services support voluntary ESG reporting and meet the requirements of the ESG reporting frameworks widely used in the mining sector, including the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, International Finance Corporation, International Council on Mining & Metals, and Mining Association of Canada - Towards Sustainable Mining.

Let KC Harvey assist your company in this evaluation process and provide you with the necessary tools to assess your biodiversity impact, measure progress towards biodiversity goals, and develop ESG reporting metrics that will serve both your company's needs and your stakeholders’ expectations.