An Aditya Birla Group Commitment 35 WHY BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO BUSINESS GROWTH Expert Opinion Expert Opinion Biodiversity is the variety and variability of life forms found on earth: from tiny microbes to plants and animals. These life forms have evolved as a result of the interaction of elements of earth with the physical environment thereby embodying in their genetic makeup adaptability to all types of climatic and environmental conditions. Thus, they hold answer to climatic variability and oscillations in climatic conditions that we are facing in today’s world. Together, these life forms interact with the physical environment to provide various types of ecosystem services to mankind: cleaning water, purifying air, supplying food, together with entertainment and relaxation. It is important that businesses have the knowledge and ability to identify the linkage of their operations with biodiversity and ecosystem services to future proof their business to meet the aspiration of mankind for better and healthy ecosystems. More than seventy percent of mankind depends on these five ecosystem services above. Industrial growth of all forms is either dependent on one or more ecosystem services or impact negatively the ability of biodiversity to provide these services. Businesses therefore cannot afford to ignore its indirect or direct dependence and impact on these services. It is our natural capital that sustains our economic growth. However, due to overuse of the natural resources to meet unrelenting demand of a growing population, the natural capital base is depleting rapidly leading to declining trends in the ability of ecosystems to provide services we depend on. Businesses need to appraise their operations to identify impacts on biodiversity to understand the implications of reduction in ecosystem services that are relevant for sustainable production and to ensure that they are not seen by society at large to be impacting these services. In a world that is increasingly becoming conscious of the loss of biodiversity, businesses should reduce their impacts on biodiversity in order to enhance reputation and maintain a social license to operate both locally and globally and to secure a market for the future. International Union For Conservation Of Nature