A new system that evaluates the direct impact businesses have on the ecosystem, and vice versa, was unveiled at a launch event in Geneva, Switzerland last week.
The Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV) provides a framework that enables companies to consider the benefits and value of the ecosystem services that they depend upon and impact. It can give these organizations new information and insights to include in business planning and financial analysis. For example, the CEV estimates the cost of water or land use, helps to measure the benefits of ecosystem assets and the costs loss as well as links ecosystem service opportunities and risks more directly to a business's core operations, according to the Environmental Data Interactive Exchange (EDIE). Bjorg Stigson, president of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), mentions that biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation continue to escalate, thereby putting businesses at risk. However, if managed properly, that knowledge can be transformed into new opportunities. "CEV gives us a good opportunity to measure and review our business activities from a new perspective so that we can make the decisions to achieve more sustainable business practices," said Yoichi Takahashi, deputy general manager of Hitachi's environmental strategy office. The CEV was developed by the WBCSD in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers.