All businesses affect ecosystems and rely on the critical services that they provide. However, 60% of the world’s ecosystems have been degraded over the past 50 years – a degradation that, when taking into account the change in land use, is responsible for about 20% of carbon emissions globally.
This needs to change, if companies want to secure access to resources that are key to their operations and reduce their exposure to risks linked to ecosystem degradation, all while creating value for society and the environment.
The Natural Infrastructure for Business platform developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), CH2M (with support from The Nature Conservancy), and other member companies is designed to introduce business leaders and practitioners to natural infrastructure. As an alternative to gray infrastructure, natural infrastructure has various benefits to business, society and nature that can be harnessed by companies. The platform is the first step towards achieving the WBCSD’s vision that by 2020, investing in ecosystems – or natural infrastructure – will no longer be just a good idea; it will be common practice across industry sectors worldwide.
This platform is a first-time effort to raise business awareness, understanding and action towards increased investments in natural infrastructure solutions, by providing concrete guidance and tools. It is the first output of the WBCSD’s Natural Infrastructure work program, chaired by Shell and Dow and involving a group of over 30 WBCSDmembers.