Contributions of the private sector to global biodiversity protection: Case study of the Fortune 500 companies

Tania Ray Bhattacharya, Shunsuke Managi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Since the inception of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992, little progress has been achieved in terms of involving the business community in protecting biological diversity worldwide. This article assesses the current activities of US Fortune 500 companies with respect to global biodiversity protection and the goals of the CBD. Data and information collected from 500 companies within eight major industrial sectors were further categorized at the company level to assess each company's involvement in global biodiversity protection. Our findings show that although companies' business profiles highly influence their decision-making process regarding the adoption of biodiversity protection policies and measures, their revenue profiles are less influential. We show that despite generating low revenues, companies in the utility sector are more active in the adoption of biodiversity protection policy than those in the financial sector, which generate high revenues. This study also demonstrates that companies must be convinced of the major effects of biodiversity loss on their bottom lines to be motivated to protect biological diversity. Companies' business and business-related risk profiles can also influence the adoption of biodiversity protection policies within the company. The study further demonstrates that a measurable biodiversity impact indicator is necessary for the companies to get seriously involved in the mitigation action. Finally, this study proposes a three-step biodiversity loss mitigation action framework that is drawn upon the assessment of the 500 companies that can contribute to develop an elaborative framework of business sector-specific mitigation plan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-86
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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