Jan-Willem Bochove, Jeremy Bird, Robin Mitchell, Vineet Katariya, Eugenie C. Regan, Helen Temple, Leon Bennun, Malcolm Starkey, Conrad Savy, John D. Pilgrim, Suzanne Livingstone
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species provides assessments of extinction risk for over 80,000 species. It has become an important tool for conservation and for informing natural resource policy and management more broadly. Over the last 10–15 years, the role of the Red List in business decision-making has become increasingly significant. We describe the key business uses of the Red List and their benefits to conservation, focusing on industrial-scale development and supply chains. The Red List is used by business throughout the process of planning and implementing projects, in order to understand and manage potential impacts on biodiversity. It informs screening and impact avoidance, baseline survey design, impact assessment and mitigation, biodiversity action plan development, and offset design and implementation. Business use could be strengthened by recognizing business needs when prioritizing improvements, so as to address specific aspects of consistency and coverage, access, information relevance, and assessment transparency. Finding effective ways to feed relevant business-generated data back into the Red List process would, in turn, strengthen the assessments. The crucial role that the Red List has assumed in good-practice business decision-making represents both a success and an opportunity for the Red List community.