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Nature in Performance

Integrating Ecosystem Services into Business Performance Systems

This report discusses ways in which companies can incorporate considerations of ecosystem services into business performance systems such as corporate strategy development procedures, product design guidelines, environmental impact assessments, and sustainability reporting.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

In 2008, the World Resources Institute (WRI), in collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Meridian Institute, published the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review (ESR). The ESR is a structured method that helps managers develop strategies to address business risks and capture opportunities arising from their company’s dependence and impact on ecosystems.

Over the course of the past few years, a number of business managers have inquired about how to integrate the ESR or, more fundamentally, considerations of ecosystem services into their existing business performance systems. Business performance systems are the range of tools, methods, techniques, approaches, and practices used by managers to guide, measure, monitor, and improve corporate performance. Examples include corporate strategy development procedures, product design guidelines, environmental management systems, environmental impact assessments, environmental and social impact assessments, environmental audits, and sustainability reporting.

Most companies already have their own established business performance systems. The question managers are now asking is “How can considerations about ecosystem services and their impacts on the bottom line be integrated into our existing systems?” This publication tackles this and a series of related questions.

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