Last month, the athletic apparel company PUMA announced its first “environmental profit and loss statement.” PUMA’s CEO Jochen Zeitz explained the decision by insisting that, in order to remain profitable, companies must integrate into their business models the true costs of relying on nature.
PUMA’s move is an example of “corporate ecosystem valuation,” the process of businesses making strategic decisions by assigning a financial price to both ecosystem degradation and the services that ecosystems provide. For example, clean water and forests provide services like erosion control, CO2 absorption, and food.
But, why would companies consider adding a value to resources like water or timber? After all, these are not line items an analyst typically finds on a balance sheet. Data from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) tells part of the story: (more…)