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Smart business leaders

…see nature as an asset!

Attitudes of consumers and business leaders are changing, with biodiversity being placed higher up on everyone's agenda. This was the conclusion of a recent report compiled by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). The report gave some eye-opening statistics from a series of recent surveys. On changes in consumer awareness, the survey revealed that 60 percent of consumers in America and Europe were aware of the problem of biodiversity loss.

On changes in the attitude of business leaders, the report stated that 50 percent of Chief Executive Officers in Latin America regarded the loss of biodiversity as an impediment to business growth. TEEB finds that corporate chiefs who fail to make sustainable management of biodiversity part of their business plans are likely to find themselves increasingly out of step with the market place.

It is clear, based on these findings, that 'business as usual' is set to be redefined. Astute business leaders have already made changes to the way in which they operate to bring benefits to the environment and their business alike. 'business as usual' is set to be redefined

"BirdLife is engaging with a number of businesses, helping to guide their operations to minimise negative impacts and encourage positive impacts on biodiversity. BirdLife has been a powerful voice in advocating sustainability practices within the business sector and also in condemning practices that damage biodiversity - such as biofuel plantations expanding into natural habitats," said Dr Leon Bennun, BirdLife Director.

The TEEB report, a milestone in our knowledge of attitudes towards biodiversity, has made a clear statement to businesses on what their approach to environmental issues should be.

"A progressive business - and one aiming for long-term success - needs to integrate biodiversity into its strategy" added Dr Bennun.Jon Williams, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, who analysed corporate reporting and CEO attitudes towards biodiversity for the study, said:“Businesses need to start thinking about ecosystems as an extension of their asset base, part of their plant and machinery, and appreciating the value they deliver. Ecosystem protection, or the impact of ecosystem loss, needs to be factored into investment appraisal and capital allocation decision making.”

4th July 2014