Wonderful! There are many ways to help, including encouraging volunteering or raising awareness, through to funding and resourcing local schemes. Across the Arc, we will see large changes to our environment from a wide range of pressures, including building homes and infrastructure, through to climate change – so the quality of the environment that we appreciate now needs to be managed carefully.
In our Story of the Arc and our Natural Capital Account we show the ways Natural capital is already providing you with benefits and also how any changes to it (good or bad) may affect you, your business and your workers.
Our opportunities map shows some of the broader/strategic projects across the Arc. You can find out more about these schemes and how you can get involved here.
Our Risk Register outlines the biggest pressures facing the Arc’s environment and how these are likely to affect us. Many businesses are thinking through how exposed they are to risks from climate change and supporting local schemes to mitigate these risks is a good form of risk management.
Our list of local nature partnerships is another place to start. LNPs are in most counties and exist to help link local environmental NGOs, businesses, people and local authorities. These partnerships have priority lists of schemes they would like to deliver, and we advise you contact your local partnerships to find out more.
Catchment Partnerships always have a pipeline of projects that they are looking to implement, see who is the catchment host for your local area here. Catchment partnerships are groups who coordinate actions around the water environment, helping improve water quality and reduce risks of drought and water supply.
If you want to fund a specific outcome because it impacts on your business, for example food security or climate change resilience, then some organisations help you to link with those people and groups that can provide ES for you – for example, see our case studies with 3Keel in Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.
Local Enterprise Networks and Growth boards also have a strong commitment to improving the environment so should be able to help link businesses.
How does the environment affect my business?
Obviously that depends on the nature and location of your business, but we do know that many businesses value the quality of life that the Arc’s environment provides. From the countryside, to green spaces in cities, to rivers, canals, fens and reservoirs, we all appreciate the environment for our leisure and recreation; but we also know that many businesses depend on agriculture and the rural economy. The carbon sequestration of nature, and the air quality benefits, are really important too, even if we don’t notice these. And the clean and plentiful water supply and flood risk management from nature – and of course, how the countryside and cities look is so much shaped by nature and that in turn affects our sense of identify and place.
The Natural Capital Coalition are an international body that encourages the private sector to engage with natural capital approaches and have produced a number of useful products for business. Their Business Case for Natural Capital Assessment
describes ways in which the private sector can be affected by changes in the environment and how to assess this for yourself (a natural capital assessment)
Some links between your business and the environment are:
- A major impact the environment can have on businesses is flooding. This risk varies widely from place to place but the impacts of flooding can be very high, not just if your own property is flooded, but from impacts to supply chains, transport links and your employees
- You may be looking into carbon offsetting, where you pay an organisation to manage the environment in such a way as to capture carbon that compensates for your own carbon footprint. This is often seen as planting trees, but it could be wetland restoration or other environmental options. You may prefer to find local schemes which combine carbon offsetting with other local benefits such as a community orchard, local water and flood benefits, biodiversity, heritage and recreation.
- Nature provides us with a lot of wellbeing, particularly if we have good access to it. This is great for your employees, and can also improve productivity and make your business more attractive to potential employees.
- You and your employees probably place a high value on the environment being in a good condition
- Our natural capital accounts give a high level view of how environmental assets are providing benefits to people, businesses and society
- If you are a landowner, you may wish to use natural capital accounting to understand better the wider values of your land. A number of “how to” guides are available, summarised here