Green Business Awards 2009: Environmental Management - Biodiversity Protection

Article excerpt

WINNER - CENTER PARCS

Center Parcs offers family holidays at four forest locations in the UK. It has 3,600 staff, and in 2008 had a turnover of pounds 263m.

Biodiversity has been an important focus from the firm's arrival in the UK in 1987, when it specifically chose sites in areas with low or damaged biodiversity.

Center Parcs launched its first Biodiversity Action Plan in 1998. Within this, each site has its own Forest Management Plan, which is reviewed and updated every five years. These plans are backed by extensive and detailed monitoring of wildlife status at each site.

The company's culture emphasises the importance of biodiversity monitoring, which is also integrated into routine site management practices. Center Parcs spends pounds 55,000 per year on the production of ecological monitoring reports.

As a result of this effort, thousands of new biodiversity records are added every year at each site. For example, by 2008 the Sherwood Village site had a database of 34,000 individual records for a total of 401 plant species and 2,466 species of invertebrates, birds and mammals. As Sherwood Village's latest annual biodiversity report puts it: 'It is the power of this data that has allowed the villages to develop into fabulous nature reserves. …