Biodiversity Interest Group (BIG)

CIRIA's aim is to provide knowledge sharing and best practice across the construction industry. To help us achieve this in biodiversity, the Biodiversity Interest Group (BIG) was formed in 2012. In 2022 it is evolving into a Community of Practice, providing a great opportunity to come together and share information, discuss key topics, network and help shape CIRIA's work in biodiversity and beyond.


In 2012, CIRIA established the Biodiversity Interest Group (BIG) with the aim of sharing knowledge on biodiversity from various sectors within the construction industry. Participants in BIG included a wide range of built environment industry experts such as clients, consultants, contractors and ecologists.


A new Community of Practice, for what?

Since 2012 the legislative context has evolved. Biodiversity Net Gain is making its way into legislation, and biodiversity tools are available to better understand the impacts of projects on biodiversity. Consultations are being undertaken by government to fine tune what the new biodiversity requirements will look like. However, how it will be applied, and how the industry will respond remains to be defined.


We believe that environmental and sustainability practitioners have a vital role to play in building on the UN Sustainability Goals related to Biodiversity and the Government’s legislation and regulations aimed at improving biodiversity.


We see biodiversity as a key issue that needs a clearer understanding within the industry; that should be an integrated part of a construction project.


We want a strong and innovative uptake of Biodiversity Net Gain principles within organisations, and we aspire for biodiversity enhancements to be seen as simple, affordable and achievable.


We believe collaboration is key, and that promotion and knowledge transfer will help improve the outcomes for biodiversity within construction and the built environment.


The BIG Biodiversity Challenge gives the industry the opportunity to become leaders in biodiversity enhancement and to encourage new ways of incorporating biodiversity into our towns and cities.


What does the Community of Practice do?

The Biodiversity Community of Practice (CoP) is network of industry experts from clients, contractors and consultants, engaged with biodiversity developments, achievements in the industry, government initiatives and more.


The group shares knowledge from different sectors and focuses on what tangible outputs can be delivered such as guidance, knowledge sharing, capacity building. A collaborative initiative, the CoP works for the greater good and is altruistic in its activities.


This CoP manages the BIG Biodiversity Challenge and Awards, with the following events planned:


  • BIG Biodiversity Challenge and Awards launch webinar, 29 March 2022

  • BIG Biodiversity Challenge and Awards – Hints & Tips webinar,  05 May 2022

  • BIG Challenge and Awards Ceremony (face to face), 14 September 2022, London


Please note that event dates and locations maybe subject to change.

The Community of Practice will meet 3 to 4 times a year to discuss Biodiversity topics with the aim of producing valuable outputs for the industry. A series of themed webinars will be designed and led by the CoP throughout the year, with the first one due to be held in June (date TBC). CoP members will collaboratively discuss biodiversity priorities that can be shaped into new guidance document(s).


How can you get involved?

The Biodiversity Community of Practice is membership-based. Membership gives you access to all CoP activities, events and outputs. If you would like further details or wish to join, please contact CIRIA, by email: