Geneva, 19 January 2014 -“Looking at ecosystems from a wider perspective can improve companies’ ability to manage risks and opportunities in their operating environment,” says Penny Nelson, Executive Director of SBC.
The ESR is a structured methodology that helps managers proactively develop strategies to manage business risks and opportunities arising from their company’s dependence and impact on ecosystems.
The tool was developed in 2008 by WRI in collaboration with the Meridian Institute and WBCSD, and was road tested by major companies including Akzo Nobel, BC Hydro, Mondi, Rio Tinto, and Syngenta. For these companies the process has acted as a catalyst for action.
“Leading companies are dealing responsibly with ecosystem issues” says Penny Nelson.
In New Zealand Aotearoa Fisheries, Contact Energy, Fonterra, Archeus Ltd and URS NZ worked with the SBC and Landcare Research to test the ESR. Examples of review include the following:
Aotearoa Fisheries completed a pilot review of one of its paua fisheries (edible molluscs), where broader ecosystem issues include sedimentation in paua beds, information on the impact of commercial, Maori and recreational fishers, poaching, and the quota management system on paua harvesting.
Contact Energy’s pilot review focused on its hydro operations on the Clutha River, with issues identified including competing demands for water (from recreation and tourism to increased demand for irrigation), native and sports fish management plans, and historical links to the river.
Fonterra’s pilot review focused on strawberry yoghurt produced in its Takanini factory. Ecosystem issues for this product included secure supply of fruit, increased water costs and water conservation. Fonterra says the Ecosystem Services Review helped its approach to its extended supply chains, and the company is considering using the process as an aid to engaging with farmers.
On 2 December 2014, the companies presented their work on dealing responsibly with ecosystems to the Natural Resources Sector Group (NRS), a group of business leaders and public sector CEOs working jointly on natural resource issues.
The WBCSD congratulates the SBC on the successful roll-out of the ESR.