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Developing Standardised Indicators for Reporting and Verification

Dam © Coolmonfrere

There is growing awareness of both the impact and dependencies that business operations have on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. These impacts translate into risks to business in a variety of ways. Where there is a direct or indirect dependence, a loss of biodiversity can increase operational costs and decrease profit margins. UNEP-WCMC is developing guidance and analyses to demystify biodiversity and ecosystem services and allow them to be integrated as part of normal business practices.

The true extent of corporate dependence and impacts on ecosystem services remains unknown due to the challenge of measuring this relationship using meaningful and yet simple indicators. UNEP-WCMC works with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) on the development of ecosystem services indicators for business reporting.

The project aims to fill a key gap in the emerging thinking around ecosystem services by helping to translate the existing concepts into indicators and reporting approaches that can be used by businesses of all sectors. By providing a blueprint for how to more effectively address ecosystem services, it can both set an ambitious vision and catalyze practical steps by companies, investors, civil society, and others to measure, assess, and benchmark corporate performance in relation to ecosystems. Through this process this project will lay the groundwork and provide the necessary intellectual base for future updates to the GRI Guidelines.