Optimising biodiversity outcomes for vegetation regeneration
Endeavour Energy has been powering Western Sydney since 1890. Today we are a trusted supplier of safe, reliable and affordable power to over 2.7 million people living and working within Sydney’s fastest growing economies including Sydney’s Greater West, the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands, Illawarra and the South Coast of NSW.
Through its Sustainability Strategy, Endeavour Energy has established a target to become Nature Positive by 2025. The company intends to regenerate at least 50% more habitat by 2023. One of Endeavour Energy’s sustainability goals is to have a net positive impact on the nature and biodiversity of the communities in which it operates, striving to restore more nature than that removed to keep the network safe and reliable. To achieve these ambitions, Endeavour Energy is expanding its tree planting and biodiversity offset programs and implementing enhanced vegetation management practices.
Endeavour Energy’s main KPI to measure and track Nature Positive progress is net habitat gain, calculated by adding total habitat enhanced or restored and habitat protected (on and off site), and subtracting habitat removed.
In 2023, Endeavour Energy undertook tree planting in the NSW South Coast region and wanted to understand what vegetation species to plant to best support biodiversity in that local area and meet their nature positive KPIs.
- Understand existing biodiversity in the region (flora and fauna)
- Understand historical biodiversity in the region (what was there before development)
- Optimise the planting activity to focus on plant species that support threatened species in the area (flora and fauna)
- Identify optimal plant species that support biodiversity in the region
- Quantify overall habitat gained from this activity
The Xylo Systems platform assessed baseline biodiversity for the wider Shoalhaven region, including specific analysis of proposed planting sites.
- Identified 2,270 species in the region, from a total of 11,960 species observations.
- A baseline regional biodiversity index (0.94) produced served as an indicator for future biodiversity monitoring activities.
- Five (5) flagship (ecologically important) species were identified to focus revegetation efforts. These included: gang-gang cockatoo, koala, glossy black cockatoo, spotted-tailed quoll and eastern bristlebird.
- Key threats and key dependencies (food and habitat) were identified for flagship species to inform management actions.
- A report was produced with explicit insights including the priority of each proposed site for revegetation, and recommendations for plant species to purchase based on each site, to support flagship species and maximise biodiversity outcomes.
The platform optimised decision-making efforts and allowed Endeavour Energy to visualise and forecast the impact we have on nature and biodiversity within their energy network. The project identified potential added value for ongoing monitoring activities, including the health and canopy cover of planted vegetation. Future iterations of the platform may include satellite imagery to monitor this outcome overtime.