Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The business case for valuing natural resources

Great news if it works. A new framework hopes to evaluate the ecosystem effects of business decisions, and drive business decisions into the green.

(The) World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) created the Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV), an innovative framework designed to enhance understanding of ecosystem services like freshwater, food, fibre and natural hazard protection.

This first-of-its-kind framework helps companies to consider the benefits and values of these services, providing new information and insights to include in planning and financial analysis. It supports decision-making by better aligning the financial, ecological and societal objectives of companies, and 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. It was developed through an 18 month process of close collaboration with business and four partner organisations – Environmental Resources Management (ERM), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the World Resources Institute (WRI). 14 WBCSD member companies road tested the CEV Guide and were able to produce key examples of the opportunities and risks associated with ecosystems.

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