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Natural Value Initiative shortlisted for Guardian Sustainable Business Award

Posted on: 03.04.12 (Last edited) 3 April 2012

Awards recognise innovative business initiatives that are making a real impact in addressing today’s most pressing environmental and social challenges.

Fauna & Flora International is pleased to announce that The Natural Value Initiative (NVI) has been shortlisted for the biodiversity category in the 2012 Guardian Sustainable Business Awards.

Now in their second year, these awards recognise pioneering initiatives that are driving real change in the way businesses tackle sustainability.

A collaboration between Fauna & Flora International, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), Nyenrode Business University, and the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO), NVI is developing a system that will help companies understand why it makes good business sense to include biodiversity in their sustainable practices.

The big challenge: getting businesses to behave responsibly

Historically, it has always been difficult to convince companies and investors of the relevance of biodiversity to corporate value, and as a result it has been undervalued and over-exploited.

Increasingly however, it is becoming clear that biodiversity provides a range of goods and services (such as clean water, fertile soils and climate regulation) that businesses depend on; collectively these are termed ‘ecosystem services’.

According to the UN more than 60% of these services are being degraded or used up faster than they can be replenished, which is creating new risks to security of supply, brand value, license to operate and investment return. At the same time, sustainable practice is helping to reduce operating costs and opening up new business opportunities.

NVI’s approach gives companies and investors the tools they need to evaluate and manage these biodiversity risks and opportunities. Ultimately, this should encourage more responsible business practices, as the most sustainable businesses attract greater investment.

“We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award, which recognises the very real impact that the Natural Value Initiative is having,” said Pippa Howard, Programme Director for Business and Biodiversity at Fauna & Flora International.

“NVI is already attracting attention from some of the world’s most influential investors, and this is sending a clear message to companies – that they can no longer ignore their impacts on biodiversity, nor can they continue to treat ecosystem services as ‘free’.”

Winners of the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards will be announced at a ceremony in May 2012.

Written by
Sarah Rakowski

Sarah is Fauna & Flora International's Communications Officer (Media & Publications). With a BSc in Environment, Economics and Ecology, she has long been fascinated with the challenge of balancing human needs and environmental protection. Whilst at university, Sarah developed a keen interest in marine conservation and conducted an opinion survey into public attitudes towards Marine Protected Areas for her dissertation. Her love of marine conservation also led her to spend a summer conducting ecological surveys on the coral reef off the coast of Andros Island, Bahamas (it’s a tough job…). Since graduating, Sarah has held a variety of communications roles, most recently in the private sector, where she worked as the European PR Manager and Communications Specialist for a leading technology firm.

Other posts by Sarah Rakowski

NVI is already attracting attention from some of the world’s most influential investors, and this is sending a clear message to companies – that they can no longer ignore their impacts on biodiversity.

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