Drferry [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https-//creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

This article was originally published on Edie


“Climate represents just one of the nine planetary boundaries seen as critical to maintaining a safe operating space for humanity. The others, ranging from ozone depletion to freshwater to biosphere integrity (which encompasses biodiversity and species extinctions), are equally important.

And all are interconnected and interdependent. Which means that we can’t solve for climate unless we are working with healthy natural systems.

The evidence clearly indicates that we have already exceeded the safe operating space for biodiversity. Human behaviour is leading to the collapse of ecosystems around the world with disturbing frequency, and scientists have warned we could be in the midst of a sixth mass extinction event.

So what does all this mean for business?

For many of us, biodiversity brings to mind the big iconic species – the polar bears, the tigers, the whales. In fact, biodiversity represents the variety of life on Earth in all of its forms and interactions. And it is critical to the effective functioning of the planet’s life support systems.

The components of biodiversity make up ecosystems, which in turn provide us with ecosystem services – from the drainage and filtration services provided by wetlands to the air purification services provided by plants, and the pollination services provided by insects to grow crops. In money terms alone, it is estimated that the services ecosystems provide to us (and most of them currently free of charge!) are worth around $125trn a year.

Our hopes for a better world as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals are underpinned by the need for healthy natural systems. Without them, we won’t be able to solve hunger or poverty, or reduce inequality.

But as organisations we have the tendency of operating in silos, and as a result many companies are failing to understand the profound ways in which the success – indeed the ultimate survival – of their business, is inextricably linked to the health of global biodiversity and ecosystems…”

Read on at: Edie.