Dow, Coke, Puma, Barrick Gold, Rio Tinto: More Companies Explore Ecosystem Services, Says BSR


(3BL Media/Justmeans) – A growing number of companies are now exploring and engaging with ecosystem services issues worldwide. According to a new BSR report, 47 companies around the globe now mention natural capital and ecosystem services in their publicly available materials and policy documents. The figure represents a jump of more than a third in the number of such companies over the previous year.

With this increasing recognition, the business argument for corporate action on biodiversity and ecosystem services continues to gain strength. Many companies employ ecosystem services approaches as a strategic part of maintaining long-term access to key natural resource-based inputs – particularly water. In specific terms, an ecosystem services analytical approach provides a framework for evaluating trade-offs in decision-making.

Coca-Cola’s Sustainable Agricultural Guiding Principles talk about promotion and protection of natural habitats and biodiversity and the maintenance of important ecosystem services such as natural pest and disease controls, pollination, and freshwater flows.

The Dow Chemical Company is undertaking work on validating tools and models that can assign a value to ecosystem services. This will assist Dow’s decision-making process with regard to designing, building and operating its manufacturing sites.

Barrick Gold’s Biodiversity Standard policy requires the company to integrate biodiversity into project planning and decision-making to assess the impact of new and existing projects on ecosystem services, and design projects that avoid potentially significant impacts on biodiversity.

Novo Nordisk says that its Environmental Profit and Loss Account takes its corporate sustainability strategy to the next level by assigning a financial value to the impacts on ecosystems.

Puma too has developed an Environmental Profit and Loss Account to put a monetary value on the environmental impact of carbon emissions, water use, air pollution, land use and waste generation through its operations and supply chain.

Rio Tinto says that the company is designing and implementing several ecosystem service valuation projects to evaluate the business case and methodologies around designing and implementing ecosystem service offsets.

Webcor Builders has developed a system to measure and manage natural capital costs of a construction project within the supply chain.

Weyerhaeuser says that the company is committed to recognizing the ecosystem services provided by its timberlands, as a part of its 2020 Sustainability Roadmap.

Source: BSR Report

Image Credit: Flickr via TORLEY