Dow, Coke, Puma, Barrick Gold, Rio Tinto, Webcor Builders: More Companies Explore Ecosystem Services

by Vikas Vij, Justmeans
Mar 17, 2014 4:30 PM ET

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.

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Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations "Decisions for Life" run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.