Sustain #32

Published: 22 Oct 2010
Type: Publication

Why should business care? The simple answer is that ecosystems services underpin all business operations in some way, and if they are compromised, this could seriously challenge companies. If a business cannot access the freshwater, timber or other natural resources it needs, or if supplies of those resources become unreliable, it faces a significant risk. Companies can only function if the ecosystems and the services they provide are healthy and balanced.

But companies not only depend on ecosystems and their services, they also impact them, and the implications of their degradation are becoming clear. The loss of ecosystem services poses business risks (i.e. higher input costs, new government regulations, reputational damage, changing consumer preferences, more rigorous lending policies), but also presents opportunities (i.e. demand for new products, services and technology, new revenue streams from managing and selling natural assets).

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