Following an initial desktop assessment of the potential biodiversity importance of our landholdings globally, we have conducted 19 baseline biodiversity surveys at prioritised sites and more surveys are ongoing.
Surveys have been completed on our sites at Bristol, Brixham, Alderley Park and Macclesfield in the UK, Dunkerque in France, Wedel in Germany, Cairo in Egypt, Canóvanas in Puerto Rico, Wuxi and Taizhou in China, Yelahanka and Avishkar in India, Cotia in Brazil, Lomas Verdes in Mexico, Gärtuna and Mölndal in Sweden, Vorsino in Russia and in the US at Newark and Wilmington in Delaware and Waltham and Westborough in Boston. A wide variety of habitats and species have been recorded, including some rarer species of birds and reptiles, such as Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) and Puerto Rican Bush Anole (Anolis pulchellus).
We have confirmed that the majority of these sites have considerable biodiversity value and/or potential. To date, in consultation with local stakeholders and conservation organisations, we have prepared local Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) for six of them. The information gathered in the baseline biodiversity surveys has enabled conservation measures to be targeted in areas where they will be most beneficial and to support future site development. Plans take into account that each site is part of the wider local landscape and consider habitats and species of regional to national conservation importance, including those which may cross the site boundary.
One of the sites that has a local BAP is Alderley Park in the UK, a 156 hectare parkland estate, which is managed using traditional methods involving, for example, livestock grazing rather than resorting to grass cutting or the use of herbicides. Such practices have encouraged and improved biodiversity and two areas of the site are recognised within the region as Sites of Biological Importance. All staff and visitors can also benefit from a series of guided walks and nature enthusiasts contribute to an annual wildlife report. The site is seeking further accreditation via the UK Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark.
In Newark, Delaware in the US, “naturescaping” initiatives involving employees working together in partnership with the Delaware Department of Agriculture Urban Forestry Division created over three hectares of native woodland plantation on a former redundant parking area and basketball court. The area has also been seeded with meadow ground flora and will provide a varied habitat for wildlife. The value of this work has been recognised and the site celebrated becoming a member of the EPA Greenscapes Alliance Partnership Program.
We also continue to drive the management of biodiversity issues across key areas of business activity. We have started to develop tools that will enable us to identify and manage biodiversity risks and opportunities within product supply chains. This work, alongside our prioritised biodiversity action planning has been recognised in a recent independent survey of pharmaceutical companies based on the Ecosystem Services Benchmark.