CORPORATIONS WARNED NOT TO IGNORE ENVIRONMENT
SARID, December 2, 2006
Corporations may face a lack of raw materials, higher operating costs, government restrictions, and reduced flexibility if they continue to disregard the effects of their actions on the environment, says a new multi-organizational report last week.
The study, “Ecosystem Challenge and Business Implications”, details the implications that water scarcity, climate change, nutrient overloading, biodiversity loss, habitat change and the overexploitation of oceans will have for the future of business.
Companies must prepare for these risks by measuring their impact and dependence on ecosystem services, taking advantage of emerging business opportunities and reducing their operational footprints.
Corporations are urged to pursue solutions that will help conserve ecosystems, such as new energy efficient technologies and products, new businesses to undertake habitat restoration, and new markets, such as nutrient trading.
According to the compilers, “Business simply cannot function if ecosystems and the services they deliver - like water, biodiversity, food, fiber and climate regulation – are degraded or out of balance. There must be a value attached to natural resources, and businesses need to start understanding this value.”
"Human impact on the natural environment has quickly led us to the limits of the earth’s carrying capacity. Business, working in partnerships and by transforming current practices, must be part of the solution."
Unfortunately, most companies fail to recognize the link between healthy ecosystems and their business interests. "Leading businesses have always adapted to new realities. The new reality is that ecosystems are losing their ability to produce some of what businesses value most."
The report was produced by World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Earthwatch Institute Europe, IUCN-World Conservation Union, and the World Resources Institute, and is based on global scientific facts and forecasts from the United Nations' multi-year Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as well as interviews with a range of business leaders to assess the implications and strategies needed to respond to environmental challenges.
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Ecosystem Challenges and Business Implications