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Protecting biodiversity

Powering progress

  • Our ambition is to have a positive impact on biodiversity.
  • Our new projects in areas rich in biodiversity – critical habitats – will have a net positive impact on biodiversity, starting implementation in 2021.
  • Our nature-based solutions projects, which protect, transform or restore land, will have a net positive impact on biodiversity, starting implementation in 2021.
  • We will replant forests, achieving net-zero deforestation from new activities, while maintaining biodiversity and conservation value, starting implementation in 2022.

In 2021, we announced a new ambition to have a positive impact on biodiversity. This builds on our earlier commitment not to explore for or develop oil and gas resources in natural and mixed World Heritage Sites.

We are developing new ways to measure how we are improving biodiversity. These are being incorporated into our processes and systems, including those for nature-based solutions and reforestation. We are working with external experts to help develop and define our approach and the way we measure our progress.

We aim to minimise the impact of our onshore and offshore projects on biodiversity and ecosystems, whether life on land or life below water. We apply the mitigation hierarchy, a decision-making framework that involves a sequence of four key actions: avoid, minimise, restore and offset. We assess the potential impact of projects on biodiversity as part of our Impact Assessment process. See Embedding Sustainability in Projects.

Potential new projects are screened to determine if they are located in a critical habitat. If we decide to progress a project that is in a critical habitat, we develop a biodiversity action plan. This sets out actions needed to follow the mitigation hierarchy and, where there is impact, the actions needed to achieve net positive impact.

In 2021, we collaborated with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other energy companies to develop guidelines for mitigating the impact of solar and wind projects on biodiversity.

Read more about biodiversity at

International Union for Conservation of Nature
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non-governmental organisation
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Net positive impact
Net Positive Impact (NPI) on biodiversity is a target for project outcomes in which the impacts on biodiversity (i.e. the variety of ecosystems and living things) caused by the project are outweighed by the actions taken to avoid and reduce such impacts, rehabilitate affected species/landscapes and offset any residual impacts. (IFC, 2019)
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Net-zero deforestation
Deforestation occurs when forests are converted to non-forest uses. In line with the definition of forest used by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2020), this commitment applies to land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than five metres and a canopy cover of more than 10%, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use. Biological status of forested areas after reafforestation to be equal or higher from original status.
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