RSK Wilding Director, Jon Davies, has appeared in an ENDS Report analysis article ‘The net gain gold mine’. The article examines how biodiversity net gain is about to become big business.
While the Environment Act has been delayed, the biodiversity net gain measure, which will be introduced through this legislation, will make it mandatory for developers in England to both offset their impacts and increase biodiversity by 10%. This could be through recreating wildlife-rich grasslands, funding new habitats or planting trees.
According to the ENDS Report, this is creating a huge new market: “The Environment Bill’s biodiversity net gain measure will create a market worth hundreds of millions of pounds annually, with the government’s goal of building 300,000 homes a year likely to necessitate the creation of thousands of hectares of offsets.” It will also have an impact on rewilding.
Noting RSK’s expertise in this sector, the ENDS Report writes, “Consultancies are moving in on this market. RSK is looking at using net gain as a way to advance the case for rewilding.” Just last year, RSK launched RSK Wilding. The new venture aims to make rewilding an option for businesses big or small to offset their carbon emissions and ecological impacts while providing revenue for farmers.
Speaking to the ENDS Report about how this works in practice, Jon told the publication that as well as helping developers to offset and achieve biodiversity net gain, this form of rewilding could also be used to “help companies fulfil their corporate and social responsibility (CSR) obligations or by philanthropists who are simply looking for somewhere to invest their money.” There are many other natural capital benefits that could accrue from the habitat restoration associated with net gain, including carbon sequestration, flood prevention and increased access to the countryside.
So, it might not just be developers that will be making use of this new market.
Subscribers can read the article in full on the ENDS Report website.