New EU project CircHive to help businesses and communities recognise, measure and report on the value of nature

January 30, 2023

Press release from Luke

CircHive is a new Horizon Europe project that will help businesses and the public sector recognise, measure and report on the value of nature. By recognising the value of nature, CircHive aims to help organisations make more informed decisions that protect ecosystems, enhance biodiversity and unlock new opportunities for society and businesses. The project is coordinated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

“Together with the CircHive consortium, Luke will develop methods for assessing impacts on biodiversity, mainstream the use of these methods by companies and cities, and introduce more sustainable business models based on circular economy principles and nature-based solutions”, says CircHive’s project coordinator, Luke’s Senior Scientist Erika Winquist.

Butterfly flying in the forest

More action is needed to value and measure biodiversity

The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the newly adopted Global Biodiversity Framework both call for increased action to value nature and address the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss together.

“These challenges must be tackled jointly; climate change can accelerate the loss of biodiversity, while biodiversity is essential for maintaining ecosystems that help us to mitigate and adapt to climate change”, Winquist continues.

Nature provides invaluable services such as clean air and water, fertile soil, pollination, erosion and flood control, and climate regulation.

“However, few organisations currently understand, measure or report their positive and negative impacts on nature”, Luke’s Senior Scientist Janne Artell says.

Combining biodiversity footprinting and natural capital accounting approaches

CircHive is a five-year, €11.5 million project with 15 research and 10 case-study partners. The project will develop rigorous and standardised methods for combining two approaches to valuing nature: biodiversity footprinting and natural capital accounting. These two approaches are being used by an increasing number of organisations to understand and value the nature that underpins their operations.

“By combining these methods, the project will provide a more comprehensive approach to valuing nature and improving biodiversity performance”, Luke’s Senior Scientist Esa-Jussi Viitala comments.

CircHive’s 10 case-study partners will bring together the latest scientific methods with organisations looking to develop sustainable business models. Case-studies include working with Lacoste to monitor the biodiversity impacts of cotton farming, with Millwood to develop sustainable forestry management practices in Ukraine and with the city of Edinburgh, Scotland to understand the impacts of new development on biodiversity and natural capital. Valio and Stora Enso are participating as case-study partners from Finland.

Join BEEHive Community – events, trainings and co-work

CircHive will work closely with other businesses and cities to develop the BEEHive (Biodiversity Excellence of Enterprises and Cities), a new community open to any organisation interested in learning how to measure and manage their impact on nature. Members of BEEHive will collaborate in the development and testing of CircHive’s outputs and will receive support in developing sustainable management practices.

CircHive aims to clearly demonstrate the benefits of valuing nature and help to mainstream the use of biodiversity footprinting and natural capital accounting. To achieve this, the project will organise events, publish training material, prepare political briefs and work on the standardisation of the biodiversity footprint method. Interested public and private sector actors are invited to join the co-creation in the respective BEEHive Hubs. Interested? Welcome to join BEEHive!

CircHive consists of 15 research and 10 case-study partners: Natural Resources Institute Finland, denkstatt, European Forest Institute, Oppla, EcoAct, Institute for European Environmental Policy, SPRING, Ukrainian National Forestry University, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, The Biodiversity Footprint Company, Biotope, Lake Constance Foundation, DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung, Valio, Barilla, Stora Enso, Millwood, Agroderew, Novamont, Lacoste, Raiffeisen Bank International, Ciedes Foundation, The City of Edinburgh Council, University of Edinburgh, and International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN.

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Logos: CircHive project and European Union

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