Developing conservation awareness in the private sector
A few years ago, I became interested in the level of influence the corporate sector has in protecting the environment. I joined The Biodiversity Consultancy in Cambridge to help organisations meet their goals whilst achieving positive results for the environment. There is now a greater appreciation amongst scientists that just publishing another academic paper is not going to single-handedly save the environment or alter a company’s consideration of their impact. It is our responsibility as scientists to frame our research within a business context that helps companies offset the impact their actions have on the environment.
This experience led me to my current role at the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre. I run an online tool called the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT), which gives decision-makers such as companies and policy makers critical information on biodiversity. Organisations like JP Morgan run 10-12 reports from our system each day, helping to inform how they invest in infrastructure projects across the globe.
This data is provided by the IBAT Alliance which includes UNEP WCMC, Birdlife International, Conservation International (CI) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Revenue generated from the IBAT tool is distributed amongst our partner organisations, providing vital funding to continue their work.
Developing business skills at Cambridge
I had always liked the idea of studying for an MBA, as I’m a scientist with no formal business training. There are organisational inefficiencies prevalent across the sciences, from running of organisations to communicating the impact of our research, that can be improved with a greater understanding and application of business and management skills. Companies are taking more interest in their biodiversity ‘footprint’ than ever before – it’s important we can supply them with the information they need to make sustainable decisions for the good of our planet. I believe that a greater understanding of business and management skills from Cambridge Judge will help me play my part in delivering on this for the organisations I work with.