Nature underpins our prosperity and wellbeing by providing economic value and security, supporting human development and equality, and increasing our resilience to climate change.
Businesses rely on nature for resources such as food, fiber, minerals and building material; ecosystem services such as pollination of crops, water filtration, waste decomposition, climate sequestration and climate regulation; and healthy and prosperous societies that give them their customers and workforces.
Nature loss puts businesses and the economy at risk
There is mounting evidence that the health of our planet is declining at a rate never seen in human history and putting the global economy at risk. The earth is under ever-increasing pressure, wildlife is disappearing, sea and land are being degraded, and resources are becoming scarce.
Risks to the global economy
Environmental risks are the greatest systemic risks to our global economy (WEF)
Natural disasters caused by nature loss and climate change cost more than $300 billion per year (IPBES)
The estimated economic cost of land degradation is more than 10% of annual global gross product (IPBES)
By 2050, land degradation and climate change are predicted to reduce crop yields by 10% globally and up to 50% in certain regions (IPBES)
By 2050, there could be over 140 million climate migrants, double the total number of all refugees today (World Bank)
In dryland areas, years with extreme low rainfall have seen an increase of up to 45% in violent conflict (IPBES)
Risks to individual businesses
Nature loss has concrete and immediate costs and impacts for businesses:
supply chain continuity, predictability and resilience;
and regulatory, reputational, market and financial risks.
Addressing the nature crisis brings significant opportunities
Our global economy and individual businesses have much to gain from addressing this crisis by developing economic models that can function in harmony with our planet.
Opportunities for the global economy
US$ 2 trillion/year of economic benefits and millions of jobs through a shift to sustainable agriculture, mainly in the developing world. (BSDC)
$22.6 trillion opportunity for water infrastructure by 2050 (OECD)
The ocean economy is estimated to be worth $2.5 trillion/year in economic benefits
65 million new low-carbon jobs by 2030 with ambitious climate action
(The New Climate Economy)
Nature provides services worth at least $125 trillion/year globally (WWF)
Pollination increases the global value of crop production by US$235-577 billion/year (WWF)
Opportunities for businesses
long-term viability of business models;
increases in operational efficiency;
increased market shares;
access to new markets, products and services;
predictable and stable supply chains;
better relationships with stakeholders and customers.
To join the Business for Nature community