New study to help businesses address their impacts on nature

15 December 2011 | News story

As the business community begins to embrace ecosystems and biodiversity as key components of commercial success, a ground-breaking report from the major study of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is being published by Earthscan today.

The TEEB study is a project hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme and led by Pavan Sukhdev. This new volume entitled ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Business and Enterprise’ provides important evidence of growing corporate concern about biodiversity loss and offers examples of how leading companies are taking action to conserve biodiversity and restore ecosystems as part of their day-to-day business activity.

The volume has been edited by Joshua Bishop, TEEB for Business coordinator, former chief economist at IUCN and recently appointed National Manager for Markets, Sustainability and Business Partnerships at WWF Australia.

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN sees the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity as crucial for the business community to grasp in order to develop strategies for long term business sustainability:

“This volume is a ‘must read’ for the business community," she says. "The current economic climate reminds us that business needs to assess all kinds of risks, including environmental ones. The TEEB study provides clear guidance for the private sector to understand and manage the income we derive from ‘Natural Capital’, an asset on which all businesses and economies depend. By understanding the value of these services and the ecosystems that provide them, companies can minimize environmental risks and realize new market opportunities.”

“It is encouraging to see new initiatives since the launch of the initial TEEB for Business report last year", says TEEB Study leader, Pavan Sukhdev. "But clearly, to survive in the 21st Century, business can and should do much more to account for their impacts on nature, both on their own and in partnership with governments and civil society,” 

To take forward work, an umbrella grouping, the TEEB Business coalition, has been formed under the leadership of Pavan Sukhdev. Coordinated by ICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) together with The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, WWF-UK, the GRI, UNEP and a number of companies, will advance the TEEB for Business work-stream by catalysing research and action on corporate externalities. Among other things this includes implementation and standardisation of measurement and disclosure as well as engagement on public policy reforms. The Coalition has received formal support by the UK government in the recent Natural Environment White Paper.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Business and Enterprise, is published on 15 December by Earthscan. A discount price of GBP 31.99 can be gained by using the order form available at http://www.teebweb.org

For more information and interviews please contact:
Ewa Magiera, IUCN Media Relations, ewa.magiera@iucn.org, + Tel: +41 (22) 999 0346, Mobile : +41 79 856 76 26