Global Biodiversity Score (GBS) - Independent Review Report
CDC Biodiversité develops the Global Biodiversity Score (GBS), a corporate biodiversity footprint assessment tool, to evaluate the impact of companies and investments on biodiversity at a corporate level. CDC Biodiversité and the French Biodiversity Agency (Office français de la biodiversité, OFB) want the tool to go through an independent review.
Two steps and several tasks to an expert panel
- A methodological review, to ensuring that the methodology used for the GBS tool is consistent with its goals, on par with the state of the art of environmental science.
- A verification of the software tool, to ensure that the GBS tool performs calculations in compliance with the methodology described.
OFB commissioned Solinnen to act as the manager of the review process.
Prior to the review project, OFB attributed the following tasks to the expert panel:
- Verifying the consistency and quality of the tool regarding:
- Its stated goals, scope and limits,
- The approach and assumptions supporting it,
- Data and databases used,
- The uncertainty and robustness of results it calculates,
- The interpretation which can be done from the results,
- How its results are communicated.
- Suggesting improvements to the tool.
The review process was conducted from November 2019 to May 2020. The main steps of the process have been the following:
- A kick-off meeting has been held on November 20th 2019, to present the GBS tool and the work expected from them as experts. Each expert was assigned reports to review.
- Reports prepared by CDC Biodiversité were reviewed
- CDC Biodiversité updated their reports and answered each comment. Experts had 2 weeks to review the updated versions of the reports.
- A final expert meeting was held on April 29th 2020 to discuss remaining comments and present details of how to draft the present review report.
- Experts contributed to the review report during the month of May 2020.
At the kickoff meeting, 8 experts had agreed to join the panel. As several expertise were not well covered at this stage, additional experts have been contacted and invited to join the panel, in order to have a satisfying coverage of expertise. Three new experts joined the panel with expertise in forestry (Lian Pin Koh), crops, and livestock farming (Félix Teillard).
Limitations of the review process
OFB, Solinnen, and any expert from the panels cannot be held responsible of the use of their work by any third party. The expert panel conclusions have been made given the current state of the art, the information which has been received about the GBS tool as part of the review process and the time available to perform the review. These expert panel conclusions could have been different in a different context.
Main outcomes of the expert review
Thanks to the many comments from the expert, the general quality of the GBS methodology reports has been greatly improved. The main outcomes of the expert review are the following:
- Three reports have been reviewed following the approach that was initially planned, with detailed comments and a summary of the conclusions: Metal ore, Livestock farming, and to some extend, Wood logs.
- The Core concepts and the three reports dealing with modelling of pressures on biodiversity have been commented by three experts, but only one has provided a summary of the conclusions of those reports.
- Two reports have been commented, but no conclusions are included in this report as expert have withdrawn from the panel before the end of the process: Crops and Input Output Modelling
- Oil & gas: no scientist with the relevant expertise could participate in the defined schedule under the specific conditions of the review process.
- Quality assurance : This report has not been reviewed by the experts as part of this process. EY, who was member of the stakeholder panel, has provided comments on it which helped CDC Biodiversité to improve its content.
- No review of the tool as a whole has been performed. Modules have been reviewed individually by experts, who have not assessed how consistent were the modules interacting with each others.
All the objectives which had been set a the beginning of the project regarding the expert review have not been reached. This is especially the case regarding expertise coverage. CDC Biodiversité is committed to carry out this expert review work for future versions of the tool.