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S Group’s calculation method allows companies to assess their biodiversity footprint across the value chain

Retail group S Group, in collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, has piloted a biodiversity footprint assessment, which enables S Group and other companies to understand and act on the most critical impacts in the value chain and measure their progress.


Riku Sinervo

Senior Lead, Global collaboration, Sustainability solutions

Tim Forslund

Specialist, Nature and the economy



Addressing biodiversity loss requires a comprehensive understanding of the impact of business on nature, but the lack of standardised biodiversity footprint assessment tools has held back progress. It has been even more difficult to estimate how biodiversity affects the value chain. Without standardised approaches, companies struggle to measure and benchmark their impact on biodiversity and set meaningful targets to improve their performance.


This collaborative initiative between S Group, Sitra and the University of Jyväskylä has culminated in a groundbreaking pilot project dedicated to assessing biodiversity footprints throughout the value chain. The methodology developed by the University of Jyväskylä integrates scientific databases, business accounting and commercial data. S Group, a customer-owned Finnish network of companies in the retail and service sectors, with approximately 2,000 outlets in Finland, offers a test case to help validate the methodology and showcase how companies’ biodiversity impacts can be quantified. The pilot project demonstrates that, despite the difficulties, the assessment of biodiversity impacts across the value chain is possible, even for a company with complex value chains and an extensive product portfolio.

What gets measured gets done. What gets measured also helps firms understand where they should focus. Today, many actions for biodiversity target impacts that only have a negligible effect on the total biodiversity footprint.

Riku Sinervo and Tim Forslund, Sitra

Biodiversity impacts

The goal of this project has been to provide a method that is available to all companies, enabling them to understand their outsourced impacts in the context of global value chains and direct their efforts to where they have the greatest impact. The assessment model reveals that in the case of S Group, less than 10% of the company’s biodiversity footprint is in Finland, underscoring the interconnectedness of global supply chains and the importance of assessing where a company’s most critical impacts take place, prior to opting for a defined course of action for nature.

Benefits for the company

By understanding and quantifying their impact on biodiversity, companies can make more informed decisions about how their most critical biodiversity impacts can be tackled. By identifying and addressing biodiversity risks through the information gathered in the biodiversity footprinting exercise, companies can avoid supply chain risks, enhancing their resilience, mitigate potential negative impacts resulting from their operations and respond to increasing regulatory demands.

Want to learn more? Click below to see the full list of companies and download the handbook!

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