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Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services Corporate Consultative Group September, 2008. World Resources Institute. What is this?. Water filtration plant. What is this?. Storm protection system. What is this?. A playground.

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Mainstreaming ecosystem services corporate consultative group september 2008

Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services

Corporate Consultative Group

September, 2008

World Resources Institute

What is this?

Water filtration plant

What is this?

Storm protection system

What is this?

A playground

Introducing “ecosystem services”


Goods or products obtained from ecosystems


Benefits obtained from an ecosystem’s control of natural processes


Nonmaterial benefits obtained from ecosystems

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Examined links between ecosystems and human well-being

1360 experts from 95 countries, 2001-2005

Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS

Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS

Partnership of UN agencies, business, and NGOs

VNU <>

Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Findings

Source: Adapted from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Operational risk: Reduced productivity

Photo Courtesy of Flickr: BlueOakPhotos

Regulatory risk: Lawsuits

Photo Courtesy of Flickr: Hsivonen

Regulatory opportunity: New products to meet new regulations

Photo Courtesy of Flickr: Powi…(ponanwi

Market opportunity: New markets for ecosystem services

  • Carbon

  • Biodiversity

  • Wetland mitigation

  • Water quality

The Corporate Ecosystem Services Review

Structured methodology that helps managers proactively

develop strategies to manage business risks and opportunities

arising from their company’s dependence and impact on ecosystems

5. Develop strategies

4. Identify business risks and opportunities

3. Analyze trends in priority services

2. Identify priority ecosystem services

1. Select the scope

Steps in the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review

Step 4 types of risks and opportunities


  • Increased scarcity or cost of inputs

  • Reduced output or productivity

  • Disruption to business operations

  • Increased efficiency

  • Low-impact industrial processes

Regulatory and legal

  • Extraction moratoria

  • Lower quotas

  • Fines, user fees

  • Permit or license suspension

  • Permit denial

  • Lawsuits

  • Formal license to expand operations

  • New products to meet new regulations

  • Opportunity to shape government policy


  • Damage to brand or image

  • Challenge to social “license to operate”

  • Improved or differentiated brand

Market and product

  • Changes in customer preferences (public sector, private sector)

  • New products or services

  • Markets for certified products

  • Markets for ecosystem services

  • New revenue streams from company-owned or managed ecosystems


  • Higher cost of capital

  • More rigorous lending requirements

  • Increased investment by progressive lenders and socially responsible investment funds

Step 4. Types of risks and opportunities





World Resources Institute

Step 5. Identify strategies

Sector or stakeholder engagement

Internal changes

Policy-maker engagement


Product strategy

Market strategy

Procurement strategy

Land management


Industry peer collaboration

Cross-sector collaboration

NGO collaboration

Transactions with stakeholders


Tax incentives

Subsidy reforms

Protected areas



Next steps
Next steps

  • Environmental management systems

  • Indicators

  • Economic valuation

  • New markets

  • Policy development

  • Business & Ecosystems Leadership Group

Craig Hanson, Acting Director

+1 202 729-7624

[email protected]

John Finisdore, Researcher

+1 202 729-7897

[email protected]