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Sustain East Devon: A guide for small businesses to support biodiversity

Embracing a commitment to support biodiversity is not just an ethical choice; it's a transformative journey that enriches your business, community, and the vibrant ecosystems that surround you. Here's your guide to becoming a beacon for biodiversity in East Devon.

Local Sourcing, Global Impact

Commit to sourcing products and materials locally, championing biodiversity-friendly practices. By supporting local farmers and suppliers, you contribute to the preservation of regional ecosystems, reduce your carbon footprint, and ensure a healthier, more diverse environment for generations to come. 

Eco-Friendly Operations

Implement sustainable practices within your business operations. From energy-efficient lighting to waste reduction strategies, every eco-friendly initiative contributes to a healthier local environment. Small changes collectively make a big impact.

Native Plant Landscaping

Transform your business surroundings into a haven for local flora and fauna. Look for opportunities to create biodiversity corridors, and linked areas of habitat which enable species to move around freely.  Opt for native plant landscaping, creating habitats that attract pollinators and support the broader local ecosystem.  Take prompt action to eliminate invasive species like Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed which can overwhelm native species. 

A small green space can become a thriving biodiversity hotspot.  Changemaker Champions Stantyway Farm are an example of a local business that goes above and beyond to promote biodiversity, through sustainable agriculture and active habitat conservation. 

Community Engagement

Engage with the local community in initiatives that promote biodiversity awareness. Sponsor or participate in local environmental events, workshops, or educational programs. Encourage local environmental groups to attend your events or consider corporate sponsorship.  By fostering a sense of collective responsibility, you contribute to a community that values and protects its natural treasures.  Sidmouth Seafest, one of our Changemaker Champions, is dedicated to promoting environmental change and community cohesion through arts, culture and education at a family-friendly annual festival.  

Green Partnerships

Forge partnerships with suppliers who share your commitment to biodiversity. Support businesses that adhere to sustainable and ethical practices, creating a network of like-minded partners. Together, you amplify the impact of your collective efforts.  Local voluntary organisations like the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group have a wealth of knowledge and can help with ideas for enhancing biodiversity.

Biodiversity-Friendly Products or Services

Consider offering products or services that directly contribute to biodiversity conservation. This could range from eco-friendly merchandise to services that promote environmental education. Your business becomes a platform for positive change. 

Make Biodiversity Habitats a Feature of Your Business

Changemaker Champion Wildwood Devon makes a feature out of its efforts to support biodiversity.  As well as contributing to surveys and increasing knowledge of UK wildlife, ponds, log piles and bird boxes provide additional habitat for some of our most precious native species.

Several of our other Changemaker Champions also support biodiversity habitats.  Whether it’s a large landowner like the Donkey Sanctuary, replanting native hedgerows, or one of our smaller accommodation providers installing bat boxes, bird boxes and bug hotels, all these features help connect visitors with nature and appreciate our unique natural environment.  

Remember, it doesn't have to be wild to be an important habitat. Several of our large local hotels work with Sidmouth in Bloom to provide insect-friendly planting within their gardens.  Even creative planting in a really small space or hanging a basket can help. 

Wildlife-Friendly Certifications

Explore and obtain certifications that signify your commitment to biodiversity-friendly practices. Displaying these certifications not only builds trust with environmentally conscious consumers but also encourages other businesses to follow suit.  Changemaker Champions Oakdown Holiday Park has received multiple David Bellamy Awards for their work promoting biodiversity and habitat conservation.  

Employee Involvement

Encourage your employees to get involved in local environmental initiatives. Support their participation in community cleanups, tree planting events, or wildlife conservation projects. A collective effort within your team strengthens your impact.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation

Stay informed about evolving practices and technologies that promote biodiversity. Adapt your business strategies accordingly, ensuring that you remain at the forefront of sustainable and biodiversity-friendly practices. 

Join the Movement: Biodiversity Begins with You

In East Devon, every small business has the power to be a catalyst for change. By integrating biodiversity-friendly practices into your operations, you're not just running a business; you're nurturing the very environment that sustains us all. Together, let's build a future where commerce and conservation coexist harmoniously, creating a legacy of biodiversity for generations to come.

 

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