Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Businesses Getting into the Ecosystem Services Game

Following up on yesterday's post about Asia's lessons on the value of ecosystems, how are businesses getting involved in protecting and restoring ecosystem services? And why should they?

This excellent piece on The EcoInnovator provides some answers, noting that:
"a growing number of leadership minded companies are realizing that correctly pricing nature can inform smarter financial decisions and lead to real business opportunities.  This is why Dow has chosen to invest $10M with The Nature Conservancy to incorporate the value of ecosystem serices into the company's decision making; specifically starting with three of Dow's manufacturing sites.  Similarly 14 leading companies chose to road test the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Guide to Corproate Ecosystem Valuation.  It is worth noting that these companies are not waiting for a top-down governmental mandate but instead (are) leading the way to a world where business decisions are aligned wit the laws of nature."
"So how does an individual company get started?" the authors ask.

A good first step, they say, is to assess which parts of your business are materially impacted by or dependent upon ecosystem services.  Is your business or supply chain prone to drought? Are critical inputs dependent on pollinators?

They emphasize a business case for ecosystem services that we'll be hearing more and more of as our civilization increasingly bumps up against "Peak Everything": Focus on benefit to your company. How might more sustainable practices help you increase resource and energy efficiency, boost your brand's reputation and sales, and reduce business risks -- including those increasingly associated with global weirding (e.g., floods, droughts, wildfire, severe storms, insect infestations)?

If companies such as Coca Cola and McDonalds are realizing the benefits of asking these questions, why shouldn't your's?

Read more>>

1 comment:

  1. By tapping into the wealth of knowledge and expertise available at UNEP-WCMC, the BBES programme provides tailored information that contextualises biodiversity and ecosystem services to support businesses, industry associations and cross-sectoral initiatives.