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.