Out­come-Based Bio­di­ver­si­ty Approaches

Over the past 3 months LEAF (Link­ing Envi­ron­ment And Farm­ing) has embarked on a pio­neer­ing new project to look at includ­ing out­comes in the LEAF Mar­que Stan­dard. The tran­si­tion would be towards a hybrid approach, hav­ing out­comes includ­ed along­side the exist­ing prac­tice-based approach. The pri­ma­ry area to con­sid­er for tran­si­tion was bio­di­ver­si­ty, with plans to con­sid­er soil man­age­ment, water man­age­ment and ener­gy effi­cien­cy in the future.

Moving towards an outcome-based standard creates the opportunity for LEAF to communicate more closely on the impacts of implementing the LEAF Marque Standard, measuring outcomes directly rather than proxying them with practices. This will enable LEAF to tell our story more effectively and demonstrate the value of LEAF Marque. It also facilitates continual improvement and stimulates innovation and flexibility, key elements of Integrated Farm Management.

LEAF has been working with sustainability consultants NewForesight together with a diverse group of stakeholders to conduct desk research, several interviews and a workshop, ensuring a balanced dialogue between innovation and the practical implications of this transition. The interviews and workshop discussed topics such as the difference between practices and outcomes; opportunities and challenges when moving towards the inclusion of outcomes; the outcomes to be included in the LEAF Marque Standard; and system implications of measuring outcomes.

These discussions highlight that moving towards the inclusion of outcomes will have 3 main implications on all parts of the LEAF Marque assurance system: the outcomes to include in the standard, how to monitor them, and assuring the outcomes.

Please download the report below to learn more about this project.