What can you do?
There are plenty of ways that your business can support biodiversity, no matter what goods or services you offer. If you have unused outdoor space consider repurposing it as an office garden.
Start small and think big
Creating an office garden, or changing the ways in which you look after one you already have, is a great way to support biodiversity. Start small with pollinator friendly plant pots or a wildlife pond in your office garden and think big like using less water or pesticides in manufacturing processes. Look for the quick wins like educating employees on things like the principles of “leave no trace”.
Your Office Garden
Here are our top tips for attracting bees and insects to your office garden:
Let weeds and wildflowers grow – Dandelions for example are a very important food for insects in Spring.
Don’t mow! – By mowing less often or leaving areas completely untouched, it allows wildflowers to grow and provide important food for our insects, especially pollinators.
Keep hedgerows and scrub patches – Hedgerows are like wildlife corridors, particularly if your workplace is located in rural farmed areas.
Don’t use pesticides – Leave mother nature to do her thing.
Create a pond – In terms of impact for biodiversity it is one of the most important things you can do.
Don’t fertilise – Wildflowers grow much better on unfertilised land.
Tree and shrub planting – Flowering trees can be particularly important for pollinators in springtime because many native species bloom early, when little else is in flower to provide food.
Bee Hotel – Set up a bee hotel for insects to over winter in.
Compost – Introduce a compost bin for food waste from your canteen or employee lunches. Use the compost in your office garden or allow employees to bring home compost for their gardens.
Team Building – Gardening together is a fantastic way to team build. Ask the hobby gardeners in your workplace to share their expertise, and plant cuttings with their colleagues.
Take a look at your business operations and see where they have an impact on things like water usage, pollution and natural resources like wood used to make paper. If your direct operational impacts are low or hard to influence, consider supporting or donating to a charity that works to promote environmental awareness and action in the context of the climate and biodiversity emergencies.
The ultimate aim is to integrate a biodiversity strategy into your overall sustainability objectives. It’s important to train employees to identify and encourage biodiversity in their own green spaces so they can bring that into the workplace. Discuss the strategy with them and invite their input for how best to implement it throughout the business. Make a list of actions you can take and prioritise them into areas where you can have the most immediate impact.