With a BSc in Environment, Economics and Ecology, Sarah has long been fascinated with the challenge of balancing human needs and environmental protection.
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.
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.