Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released the Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV), an innovative framework designed to enhance business understanding of the benefits and value of ecosystem services like fresh water, food, fiber and natural hazard protection.

This first-of-its-kind framework enables companies to consider the actual benefits and value of the ecosystem services they depend upon and impact, giving them new information and insights to include in business planning and financial analysis. This will support improved business decision-making by creating more alignment between the financial, ecological and societal objectives of companies.

“Biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation are continuing to escalate, thereby putting business at risk, but if managed properly, can be transformed into new opportunities,” said Björn Stigson, President of the WBCSD. “CEV allows business to fully recognize and value ecosystems and the services they deliver. I encourage all businesses, large and small, to use this Guide and integrate ecosystem values in their decision-making,” added Stigson.

The ecosystem valuation guide allows business to explicitly account for the full value of ecosystem impacts and inputs, including benefits linked to assets and costs associated with ecosystem loss. This links ecosystem service opportunities and risks more directly to a business’s core operations, supply chain and financial bottom line.

The CEV also provides clarity, consistency and guidance in approaches and techniques. The CEV was developed through an 18-month process of close collaboration with four partner organizations – Environmental Resources Management (ERM), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and World Resources Institute (WRI) – and businesses themselves. Fourteen WBCSD member companies road-tested the CEV Guide and were able to produce key examples of the opportunities and risks associated with ecosystems. The road-testers included: AkzoNobel, EDP, Eni, Eskom, GHD, Hitachi (Chemical), Holcim, Lafarge, Mondi, Rio Tinto, Syngenta, Veolia Environnement, Weyerhaeuser, and U.S. BCSD.

The Guide “operationalizes” The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), a key report released in October 2010 by the G8+5 Environment Ministers at COP 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. TEEB urges companies to support sustainable use and management of biodiversity as an integral part of their business plans. But, businesses cannot manage what they don’t measure, and CEV allows companies to value their ecosystem impacts, use and management.

For a full copy of the Guide please click here.

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