Exploring the prioritisation of biodiversity amongst small- to medium-sized enterprise leaders with strong bigger-than-self value orientation.

Researchers at the Sustainable Economies Research Group (SERG) at the University of the West of England recently published a paper exploring the prioritisation of biodiversity amongst small- to medium-sized enterprise leaders. Existing research indicates that value orientation impacts propensity for pro-environmental behaviours. However, as biodiversity loss remains inadequately addressed, this study employs the value-belief-norm framework to explore how leaders with strong biospheric and altruistic (collectively termed ‘bigger-than-self’) value orientations perceive their responsibility for biodiversity loss in comparison with climate change and, using an adaptation of the Global Reporting Initiative standards, how biodiversity is prioritised against other areas of environmental sustainability in their businesses. Surveying 61 SME leaders, primarily in the South-West UK, it was found that biodiversity is often considered of low priority compared with factors such as energy, waste, materials and emissions. Analysis also indicates that these leaders feel less responsibility for biodiversity than for climate change demonstrating that, even where bigger-than-self values dominate, there is a need for higher prioritisation of biodiversity amongst SMEs. To see a freely accessible version of the paper in Business Strategy and the Environment, please download from the link:

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