Biodiversity and ecosystem services are often considered public goods, i.e. the costs of destroying or damaging ecosystems are passed on from the user to society. NGOs have therefore been pushing companies to value their environmental costs, but if these services were valued more consistently by businesses would this help make better management decisions for the environment, society and the companies themselves?
In 2011, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released the Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV), a framework for improving corporate decision-making by enabling companies to consider the values of the ecosystem services they depend and impact upon. It was developed with 14 member road-testers and 4 partners. It is expected that ecosystem valuation will be more consistently incorporated into corporate decision-making and, potentially, reporting policies and public regulations.
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.