The special TEEB for Business report on biodiversity was released at the first Global Business of Biodiversity Symposium held in London.
On 13th July, 2010 the first Global Business of Biodiversity Symposium was held in London. The aim of the conference was to explore the business risks related to biodiversity loss and to identify the opportunities when biodiversity is properly integrated into company operations.
The conference featured well-renowned speakers and high quality discussions with representatives from multinational corporations and international environmental NGOs. Many sessions had a practical approach. The topics ranged from the integration of biodiversity considerations into international climate change reduction programmes novel ways to capture monetary benefits from ecosystem services, and biodiversity and sustainable forestry projects.
The highlight of the conference was the presentation of the TEEB for Business report. TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) is an international initiative reporting on the value nature. It provides shadow prices for different ecosystem services by using case studies.
Different TEEB reports exist for different stakeholders and in London the report for business was presented. It outlines the risks biodiversity loss poses to firms and indicates where opportunities exist. According to an assessment backed by the UN called Principles on Responsible Investing (UNPRI) by Trucost, the 3,000 largest companies listed have externalities estimated to be US$ 2.2 trillion per year.
These costs are mainly generated by greenhouse gas emissions, overexploitation and water and air pollution. Biodiversity and ecosystem services account for part of these costs, for instance in the form of water related impacts (water is a provisioning service).
The TEEB report provides a toolbox for action for companies to minimise these costs and to seize opportunities: