CEV Background

The WBCSD has been working on ecosystems issues for 15 years. Over the past years, a critical focus has been on identifying business risks and opportunities related to impacts and dependence on ecosystem services. One major milestone was therefore the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review (ESR) led by the World Resources Institute (WRI) along with WBCSDand the Meridian Institute. Since its launch in 2008, this methodology has been picked up by over 300 companies and is still the best practical approach for companies to assess their ecosystem-related risks and opportunities and integrate these into their strategy. WRI continues to provide excellent material, information and support on the ESR.

A logical next step is to consider the economic value of these impacts and dependencies. Since 2008, WBCSD has been leading work on ecosystem valuation and its relationship to business, and participating in complementary initiatives by, for example, editing several chapters in the Business report of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). Much of WBCSD’s work aims to “operationalize” TEEB’s outcomes.

We also developed the following 2009 reports:

  • A scoping report and accompanying issue brief: This exercise reached the conclusion that any attempt to advance corporate ecosystem valuation should focus on new ways of valuing ecosystem dependencies and impacts and incorporating these values within existing financial and business planning tools. Attempts should not focus on trying to shift public policy ecosystem valuation initiatives towards a business perspective, nor force businesses into public policy ecosystem valuation models;
  • A short advocacy document that builds the business case for Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV). This report highlights 10 reasons why business should conduct corporate ecosystem valuation, namely:
    1. Improve business decision making;
    2. Capture new income streams;
    3. Save costs;
    4. Reduce taxes;
    5. Sustain revenues;
    6. Revalue your assets;
    7. Investigate new goods & services;
    8. Assess liability & compensation;
    9. Measure company & share value;
    10. Report performance.

During the CBD COP10 meeting in Nagoya, Japan (October 2010), WBCSD hosted a side event on CEV and shared some Road Tester interviews.

In September 2011, WBCSD organized a workshop for CEV practitioners in London – Read the workshop summary.

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