Biodiversity: current first movers are tomorrow’s winners

KPMG conducted the second TEEB - the Netherlands study, this time with a focus on the Dutch business sector. It shows, by giving examples, how business can take action and how companies can seize opportunities and avoid risks.

12 July 2012 - Much is at stake for business. The conservation of freely available ecosystem services is a prerequisite for the profitability of companies in the long term. Opportunities exist for companies that anticipate the increasing pressure on biodiversity. In addition to securing their survival in the long term, they benefit from the first mover advantage.

A study of 9 sectors in "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Business – the Netherlands” shows business can take action. To assail competitors, companies quickly have to conduct a targeted analysis of opportunities and risks related to biodiversity to assess the financial impact. The TEEB for Business Report, which was published end of June in the Netherlands, shows how this analysis can be conducted.

The horticultural sector for example shows that biological pest control is can be done and fish feed producer Nutreco shows that it is possible to develop plant-based feed, instead of animal-based feed for breeding fish. The company thus delivers a positive contribution to the natural fish stocks and creates a strategic position in a world where 80% of all fish species is threatened by overfishing. The Netherlands also has several companies that take large steps in the development of bio-plastics.

The report recommends three steps with regard to biodiversity and ecosystem services for companies:

  1. Realising that it makes economic sense to use ecosystem services wisely
  2. Determining impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services and the accompanying opportunities and risks
  3. The final step can consist of calculating the monetary value of biodiversity and ecosystem services for the company or conducting a biodiversity footprint

The study, conducted by KPMG, is the second publication in a series of six Dutch TEEB studies that were commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. The first study focused on the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services for the health of citizens. The next four TEEB studies will focus on planning processes, Dutch supply chains, the Dutch Caribbean region and cities.

You can find the first report on citizen health and biodiversity here (information in Dutch). 

You can find the TEEB for Business the Netherlands report here (information in Dutch).

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