The Green Corridor: Biodiversity – More Species are Better than One

Biodiversity is Key to Our Planet’s Resilience

by Timothy Foote, Director Transportation & Network APAC at Asendia and Founder of Susymbio

This month, I had the pleasure of joining my fellow volunteers at Singapore Wildcat Action Group to work the booth at Singapore’s annual Festival of Biodiversity at One Punggol, Singapore. National Parks Singapore organises this event to share with the communities in Singapore what biodiversity our natural environment has, why it’s important to treasure it, and what is being done to protect it.

When communities today talk about sustainability the word “biodiversity” can often come up. There is good reason for this, because protecting biodiversity is really about protecting our future in the long term as well as enriching the very air we breathe and water we drink today. This month, I want to share with you why biodiversity is important and some actions that you can take as logistics leaders to help protect it.

Societies generally create spaces that exclude other living creatures to minimise interaction with other species. Human beings naturally start to feel more stress when other creatures enter into their environments. A person can squeal when a cockroach passes in front of them. Others can brisk walk at the sight of a dog being walked on a leash near them (I’ve seen this when I’ve walked my own doggies in the neighbourhood). Judging from these reactions, it seems that people are most comfortable when they only live in a people-centric environment.

On a planetary scale, though, we are only one species in a much larger environment. It’s a good thing that we are not alone though. Here’s why – key outputs of that larger environment are fresh air, clean water and a diverse assortment of food – all of which we need to survive. On our planet, supply for these outputs are best generated when there are many species living together in the same environment. It is for this reason that we should all be interested in and focused on biological diversity.

The Office Analogy

When diversity is talked about in organisations these days, it is generally referring to growing the workforce into a group of people with diverse perspectives and talents. Having different economical backgrounds, different races, different ages, different genders and points of view can all equate to stronger business decisions and thus more resilience for the organisation on the whole.

In Supply Chain as well, having numerous suppliers and transport options that can sustain the supply of raw materials and secure distribution channels are seen as critical for keeping businesses protected for the future. Having diverse suppliers and transport options can keep an organisation in business and therefore resilient.

Diversity in Nature

Organisations that gain resilience from diversity are similar to the natural world we live in. Eco systems in nature gain resilience from the diversity of life inhabiting its area. This is true on two levels. On the first level, the output of fresh water and oxygen is higher. On another level, the resilience or ability to survive is higher.

For most people, it may be hard at first glance to recognise a healthy eco-system. Driving through a lot of the country-side of Asia one can see fields of food, plantations of trees and acres of golf courses – all of which are green with plants. We tend to see green as positive, but not all green is the same. Biodiverse eco-systems support more diverse life forms and those life forms create more healthy outputs in greater quantities. Rainforest produce more oxygen and clean water compared to golf courses.

In Southeast Asia, the rainforest has evolved to home to the highest number of species. On the resilience level, the rainforest is number one as well. Because of the diverse life forms, one invading pest alone will not decimate the entire forest. By contrast, one can compare this resilience level to the more fragile agricultural areas which constantly need to battle against disease and particular pests because they are protecting just one specific crop.

How You Can Bolster Biodiversity

Healthy eco-systems that supports societies by providing clean water and fresh breathable air should be a top priority. But because air and water are part of a planetary system, we can be fixated on our local growth at its expense.

In order to locally protect what biodiversity you have, here is a list of some actions you can take:

  • Avoid clearing forests for your logistics facilities. Use existing industrial areas and modify before tearing down existing structures.
  • Pay attention to environmental impact studies associated with your growth plans and try to use a reputable environmental impact assessment company to help.
  • Put in place mitigation strategies for your transport management when traveling through known environmentally sensitive areas (see article: The Green Corridor: Saving Whales in California – A Case Study in Regional Collaboration)
  • Support the growth of protected areas where you live.
  • Support greater diversity of species in the green places you control.
  • Encourage your colleagues to learn more about their natural environment and the benefits it provides to them.

Our industry is already working hard to clean up our emissions. Let’s also support nature to help with that by protecting its diversity. By doing this, we boost the amount of oxygen in while we are reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

As in nature, more ideas are better than just one! Let me know ideas your organisation is working on for boosting biodiversity. I would love to hear from you.

About the Author

Timothy Foote
Director, Transportation & Network APAC at Asendia and Founder of Susymbio

Tim has worked in management positions at multiple MNCs for more than 25 years, gaining expansive expertise in logistical operations. Tim continues to craft delivery solutions for many e-commerce clients at Asendia. Once a regional Head of Go Green at DHL eCommerce, Tim now works for customers to decarbonise their logistics by managing Asendia’s 100% carbon-neutral network.

To further promote a net zero future for the logistics industry, Tim created MOVE GREEN. This is a movement committed to greening the logistics industry during this time of transformation. Please join the companies making a pledge to become net zero by going to Susymbio.com for more details.

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