Biodiversity in your shopping bag

IMG_1078This year’s Festival of Social Sciences was an exciting week, with events taking place across the city, celebrating social sciences in all its forms.

The Centre for Responsible Business’ Dr Delphine Gibassier and Dr Nana O.Bonsu combined their research into responsible business and sustainability accounting with biodiversity and endangered species, creating a day dedicated to how business affects biodiversity, aimed at primary school children.

Across the globe, there is an ever-growing focus for individuals and businesses alike on becoming sustainable, IMG_1042environmentally-friendly and responsible. As shoppers become more and more eco-conscious with each generation, it’s important that the onus is placed on businesses to adapt their supply chains and practices.

This event encouraged primary school students to learn more about how businesses can use their power to protect endangered animals, but also how irresponsible businesses put them at risk. Engaging young people in the future of biodiversity is important to our journey to sustainability. It is crucial that future generations, who may have the chance to shape environmental policies as they get older, are aware of the difference that they can make. The event showed them the impact of their actions as well as how they can encourage businesses to IMG_1067be better.

Children used toys, played games, discussed posters and conducted friendly conversations with social science researchers, Dr Gibassier and Dr O.Bonsu. The event, which took place at the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, also featured a tour of the park with experienced keepers to give the children a more in-depth knowledge of the animals they are seeking to save.

The event used creative means to teach the children about food labels and biodiversity – by the end of the event, the IMG_1035children could identify logos on packaging which indicated that the product came from a responsible business which considered biodiversity. They also learned about the difference between ‘least concern’, vulnerable’, ‘endangered’ and ‘critically endangered’.

Initial feedback from the teachers was excellent, with one teacher commenting that ‘the children were so engaged and it will impact on them in all sorts of ways’.