The New Nature of Business Report highlights the necessity for a new approach by business to the environment. The Report aims to address the lack of awareness, review the challenges businesses face, and present a persuasive case for action. It draws from examples of pioneering companies around the world that have responded successfully to this critical issue. Resources provide additional details to the Report on tools for evaluating outcomes, life cycle assessment, and measurements.
The degradation of the natural world has impacted dangerously on the availability of everything from clear air to food, water, and natural resources that were once abundant. Destruction of habitats is leading to declines in species and, increasingly, to extinctions. Climate change is a major contributor to these threats to ecosystems and biodiversity world-wide.
Why is this an issue for business? Because business-as-usual is a major cause of environmental degradation. Prevailing business practices are polluting the air, water, and land. Excessive harvesting of food stocks are exhausting the land’s capacity to recover. Land clearing is destroying the natural forests that convert carbon to oxygen. Above all, current business practices are contributing to global warming.
While being the major cause of environmental degradation, business can, however, also be a major driver of environmental recovery. Transforming from business-as-usual to a new approach of business-as-the-solution is critically important to reduce the rate at which the environment is degraded. Business leaders need to establish a new relationship with nature where business nurtures and replenishes, instead of consuming and destroying.
The New Nature of Business describes biodiversity and ecosystems services; what pioneering companies are doing about the challenges to these issues and why they are doing it; and what could be done if a critical mass of businesses globally followed the lead of those pioneers.
As the 21st Century proceeds, the case for business action becomes stronger while nature’s degradation becomes increasingly severe. Every business leader needs to take urgent action to address these challenges to nature. Initially, the motivation for business responses may be the necessity to manage future risk. If business does not heed the warnings, all too soon the motivation will be to survive the consequences of inaction.