New British Standard sets out requirements for the implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain in development projects

25 August 2021

BSI, in its role as the UK National Standards Body, publishes a new set of requirements for the implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) in development projects, including individual house-builds, large-scale developments and estate management.

The loss of biodiversity as a result of human activity is having increasingly severe impacts1. As a result, governments, businesses and organizations of all types are acting, not only to protect biodiversity, but to ensure it thrives. BNG is an approach to development and land management that leaves biodiversity in a measurably better state than before.

The new British Standard, named BS 8683: Process for designing and implementing biodiversity net gain – Specificationbuilds on and adds to the UK’s Good Practice Principles of BNG2. It translates these principles and actions into a specification standard, providing a consistent and structured process for designing and implementing BNG based on good practice. 

David Fatscher, Head of Environment, Social and Governance Standards at BSI said: “BNG has an important role to play in protecting, restoring, recovering nature and supporting thriving ecosystems. To achieve BNG, a project needs to follow the mitigation hierarchy and be able to demonstrate that it has followed the UK’s Good Practice Principles of BNG in order to leave the biodiversity of the affected area in a measurably better state than before. We are proud to publish the new British Standard which supplements the principles with practical guidance.”  

The standard has been developed by a committee3 that is made-up of experts in the fields of sustainable development, construction, local government and land and water management.

Organizations can download the standard via the BSI website here.

- ENDS -

Notes to the editor:

UK Environment Bill,

2 Good Practice Principles,

3 Committee members represented included Building with Nature, UKAS, Natural England, IEMA, CIEEM, and local governments eg. Warwick District Council and members included professionals from the built environment such as Balfour Beatty, Network Rail, and Anglian water.