Wilderlands have reached a major milestone becoming the world’s fastest voluntary biodiversity credit developer to retire over 100,000 units which will protect over 10 hectares of vulnerable Australian habitat, forever.

The announcement was made at an event this week with over 100 leaders gathering at the University of Melbourne’s innovation precinct Melbourne Connect for the launch of a digital dashboard titled The First 100.

The dashboard details the learnings from the Wilderlands journey to date, including in-depth reports revealing the impact across the four projects being supported and explores case studies of innovative corporate partnerships embedding biodiversity credits into their business operations.

Amongst the partnerships on display was the launch of a new product developed in collaboration with personal and homecare brand al.ive body that has been inspired by the unique flora of the Wilderlands’ Coorong Lakes project and promises to protect one square metre for every product sold.

The concept is the first of its kind and has been in planning for over 12 months with products rolling out nationally in April through retailers including Myers, Pillow Talk and a range of distributors.

“This partnership aligns with our commitment to give back to the environment that serves as the source of inspiration for our products” Alisa Fraser, CEO & Co-founder of al.ive body.

Wilderlands CEO Ash Knop said the interest from businesses wanting to protect nature was rapidly growing, with biodiversity now sitting alongside carbon as a critical consideration for every boardroom with increasing pressure on businesses to declare their impact on nature and have plans in place to address their footprint.

“There’s no doubt that nature positive is the new net zero.” Ash Knop, CEO & Co-founder of Wilderlands.

“We know that half the world’s GDP is reliant on nature and we’re now seeing businesses start to measure where their footprint draws on the environment and importantly consider how they can take action, with biodiversity credits playing a key part in any nature-positive plan.” Ash Knop, CEO & Co-founder of Wilderlands.

Knop said the partnership with al.ive body was an example of the creative ways companies are seeking to protect the planet through their products and that more brands were looking for similar solutions recognising that biodiversity loss is bad for business.

“We’re constantly working with companies wanting to explore how they can embed biodiversity credits into different parts of their business, whether that be producing products with purpose, creating events with environmental impact, or simply making it easy for staff to choose protecting a patch of precious biodiversity as part of their welcome gifts when joining the company.“ Ash Knop, CEO & Co-founder of Wilderlands.

Adelaide Festival partnered with Wilderlands in March to protect a patch in the Coorong and enabled attendees to protect one square metre of vulnerable land with every ticket sold, unlocking their very own profile to track their impact.

The campaign, running for the second year, has now protected over 3400 sqm at the Coorong Lakes project which has received global attention due to the deep collaboration between the conservation partner Cassinia Environmental and the traditional owners of the Ngarranderi who manage the property creating significant employment for many in the local Raukkan community.

Adelaide Festival CEO Kath Mainland said working with Wilderlands had helped the festival turn their ambitions into action, providing a way to contribute to reversing nature loss by 2030 whilst also delivering a concept that really resonated with their audiences and protected a patch of land close to home.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Wilderlands and are encouraging our audiences, artists, and partners to join us in supporting these initiatives as we hope to further raise awareness of and promote effective finance mechanisms that increase funding towards nature-based solutions.” Kath Mainland, CEO of Adelaide Festival.

Since launching in 2022, Wilderlands has received global recognition for their one-square-metre Biological Diversity Units which promise permanent protection and active management of high conservation value projects across Australia.

Wilderlands partners with leading conservation organisations to unitise the impact of their work, with each unit geotagged, independently certified, and underpinned by a proprietary methodology that leverages state conservation covenant regulations to essentially create private national parks that can be sponsored by individuals and organisations through the purchase of these credits.

The first four projects made available to support are spread across Victoria, NSW, and South Australia and represent over 5 million square metres to protect. These properties are owned and managed by Wilderlands conservation partner Cassinia Environmental who’ve been involved with biodiversity protection projects for over 20 years.

Wilderlands’ Co-Founder Paul Dettmann is a sixth generation farmer and believes biodiversity credits can provide landholders with the financial incentive to protect their property for nature outcomes with over 70% of all funds raised going directly to help fund the ongoing management of these projects.

The team has been supported by a range of startups programs including the Melbourne Accelerator Program, KPMG’s Nature Positive Challenge and Silverstrand’s Biodiversity Accelerator in Singapore, as well as being invited to become part of the United Nations Biodiversity Credit Alliance and attending COP15 in Montreal.

Wilderlands have been recognised as one of the world’s first voluntary biodiversity credit developers with features in the Australian Financial Review as well as global publications including the Wall Street Journal, World Economic Forum, and the Economist, all eager to cover stories of progress in the burgeoning market that is tipped to be worth 50 billion by 2030.

Among the drivers for growth are new regulations that will see businesses declaring their impact on nature, with the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) formalising in the past year.

For Australia, protecting nature is high on the national agenda having joined 190 countries in committing to protect 30% of nature by 2030 which will require an additional 40 billion square metres of land added to the conservation estate.

The role of private investment will be a key to achieving this goal and has seen the Government committing to the launch of a nature repair market, which Wilderlands expect to play a key part in when it lands, and is sure to be a key point of discussing when global leaders arrive in October for the Global Nature Positive Summit in Sydney.

Wilderlands aims to protect 1 million square metre of land over the next 12 months and expects the inclusion of nature into ESG commitments to drive biodiversity credit purchases, as well as opportunities within corporate gifting, events, products, and even the built environment showing avenues to sales of credits as a solution.