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This article was originally published on GreenBiz


“It’s hard to imagine this happening 20 years ago: A multinational oil company wants to prove the value of using oysters to protect its infrastructure and save the coastline.

Oysters saving the day is just one example of how the business community has shifted in how it views nature. Although all companies use air, land, water and biodiversity (what we call natural capital) to support economic growth and create jobs, what’s new is engaging nature as a partner.

All companies need nature

Ecosystem services, such as water supply, pollination, soil fertility, the water filtration functions of riparian areas and the storm protection provided by coastal wetlands, are the valuable and economically important goods and services that natural capital provides to business and society.

Using a “valuing nature” lens, companies are harnessing nature’s power to provide the ecosystem services they need. At the same time, these forward-looking organizations lower their environmental impact and create ecological and recreational benefits.

Natural infrastructure projects — planned or managed natural or semi-natural systems designed to provide a specific ecosystem service — are being used in creative ways to protect buildings and infrastructure, reduce energy needs, improve aesthetics, treat effluents, conserve and protect our shared water supply, facilitate agricultural production and address contaminated sites. Relative to traditional gray infrastructure, green infrastructure solutions can enhance natural capital and their construction, operation and maintenance, and can have a significantly lower environmental footprint…”

Read on at: GreenBiz.