You may have heard of the new Biodiversity Net Gain and Environmental Net Gain guidelines that are coming into effect in the next few years. These laws will massively impact the way construction operates in the UK and symbolise a transition towards a greener economy. What do these laws mean for your business and what insights can be offered from industry perspectives? Here's 5 things about Biodiversity Net Gain you and your business must know:
- Dates: Whilst Biodiversity Net Gain laws are set to come into effect by 2023, many local planning authorities are implementing the policies much earlier than 2023 in an attempt to develop infrastructure in a transitional way. To stay ahead of the game within your sector, be sure to keep up to date with the latest information and consider developing your businesses with the guidelines in mind beforehand.
- Foundations: Biodiversity Net Gain acts as a foundation for Natural Capital and Environmental Net Gain. Factors such as the wider environmental impacts of development or the impacts of habitat change for people are covered by Natural Capital and Environmental Net Gain. As well as ensuring your business falls in line with BNG requirements, it is important to try and consider Natural Capital and ENG too.
- Delivery Guidelines: In order to deliver Biodiversity Net Gain, there are many factors you will have to consider as a business. These include the rising value of land, the cost per biodiversity unit, and the impact assessment for habitat creation. When assessing new developments to meet these guidelines, assessing who benefits or disbenefits from the interventions on a variety of scales is crucial in fully meeting the guidelines. It is also important to incorporate risk factors into your planning including those associated with climate change and extreme weather worsening.
- Funding: There are many funding opportunities worth researching to help support your business in adjusting to these laws. These include LPA grants, PES grants, utilities, and UK governmental organisations such as the Natural England Investment Readiness Fund. Working with these organisations may also help benefit your businesses ESG credentials so it's worth looking into!
- A Natural Capital Approach: One way to approach BNG laws is by using a Natural Capital approach which looks at the stock of natural resources and the benefits they may provide. This includes assessing how much natural resources are worth and their costs versus benefits, i.e. the market value for trees versus their carbon neutrality outputs. It is important to try and quality, quantify, and then think about monetisation to maximise profitability of the area.
- Mechanisms for BNG: There are three main categories for mechanisms of BNG delivery: on-site, off-site, and statutory credits. On-site methods include habitat creation and improvement within a development boundary, whereas off-site methods are more focused on habitat creation outside of a proposed area and may be more focused on working with community organisations or local authorities. Bee Conservation can help support Biodiversity Net Gain mechanisms both on-site and off-site by installing one of our hives. This will help tangibly contribute to a biodiversity net gain. For more information, click here.