“NGOs don´t speak "business"” and “companies do not value the environment” are common claims. Biodiversity loss will not be stopped without active business engagement. Companies understand financial values. Biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES), e.g. timber provision or water purification, are often considered public goods i.e. the costs of destroying or damaging ecosystems are passed on from the user to society. NGOs have been pushing companies to value their environmental impacts for many years. But if ecosystem services affected were valued more consistently in business decision-making, would this help make BETTER decisions for the environment, society and business?
In 2011, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released a new Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV), a framework for improving corporate decision-making by enabling companies to quantify the values of the ecosystem services they depend and impact on. It is the first of its kind, catering directly to the needs of business. It was developed with 14 member road testers and four partners. The next big push for CEV was PUMA´s first results of its Environmental Profit and Loss Account (EP&L) amounting to costs of 94 million Euros for its water consumption and CO2 Emissions only.
It is expected that other companies will follow this momentum and that ecosystem valuation will become 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. What is the role of NGOs? Are existing methods for measuring and valuing impacts on BES good enough? What risks exist?
The workshop aims (i) to raise awareness about the opportunities and risks of giving monetary values to ecosystems and (ii) to encourage the uptake of valuation as one of the solutions to mitigate ecosystems degradation. By highlighting practical examples, it will focus on the application of ecosystem valuation in the business context, while keeping in mind the role of environmental NGOs.
Introduction, Nicholas Conner (Govt NSW and WCPA)
Part 1. Understanding the principles of valuation (Exercise), Tobias Hartmann / Marion Hammerl (Global Nature Fund)
Part 2: Ecosystem valuation in the corporate context , Eva Zabey (WBCSD)
Part 3: 101 of economic valuation, Nathalie Olsen (IUCN)
Part 4: An example of Corporate Ecosystem Valuation, Leon Payne (Rio Tinto) and Nathalie Nathalie Olsen (IUCN)
Part 5: An example of valuation application: assessing the value of watershed management (Interactive session), Mathieu Tolian (Veolia Water)
Part 6: The role of different stakeholders: NGOs, governments, business in Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (Panel discussion)
Part 7: Concluding remarks, James Griffiths (WBCSD)
For more information on the Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation, please refer to the WBCSD website: http://www.wbcsd.org/work-program/ecosystems/cev.aspx