Market News

 May 07, 2011
Guide to Corporate Ecosystems Evaluation

 The World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has released a Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV), which is the first of its kind, catering directly for the needs of business.

The Guide is designed to enhance business understanding of the benefits and value of ecosystem services like fresh water, food, fiber and natural hazard protection.

It provides a framework for improving corporate decision-making through valuing ecosystem services and provides a set of resources to navigate through related jargon and techniques

It was developed through an 18-month process of close collaboration with businesses themselves - fourteen members road tested the Guide working with four partners: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Resources Institute (WRI), ERM (the main author of the Guide) and PwC. 

What is the business case for CEV? 

"The underlying business case for undertaking CEV is that it enables companies to improve decisionmaking and thereby increase revenue, save costs and boost the value of their assets and potentially share prices. This is achieved through managing a range of ecosystem risks and opportunities both internally and externally."

Its underlying premise is that companies must anticipate that ecosystem valuation will be more consistently incorporated into public policies, regulations, and political decisions.

Ecosystem values will also be increasingly considered by the finance sector and business-to-business customers as they assess the biodiversity and ecosystem-related risks and opportunities of investments and supply chains.

Key messages

  • Business depends on biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Business impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • CEV can help business manage risk and consider new business opportunities
  • Valuing these impacts and dependencies helps business make better decisions
  • Ecosystem valuation will increasingly be considered by governments, finance sector and business-to-business customers
  • CEV process is complementary to other business tools (e.g. ESIAs, LCAs

The Guide can be downloaded from here.