It began with a seed of an idea: How can we work together to make the business case for nature? More than a decade later, Dow has worked with The Nature Conservancy to develop an approach to value the services of nature on our sites around the world. Now we are sharing our journey through our newly published blueprint for Valuing Nature.
Since 2011, scientists, engineers and economists from both Dow and The Nature Conservancy have worked together to analyze the various services that nature provides to our operations and community. The groundbreaking collaboration has demonstrated how applying a business decision process that values nature and natural capital can be good for business and for ecosystems. Launched in 2015, our Valuing Nature goal is the first-ever commitment by a corporation to systematically consider nature in its business decisions on such a major scale. The creation of new tools and processes – including the Ecosystem Services Identification & Inventory (ESII) Tool – has helped our company to quantify and track more than $600 million of savings, mostly from avoided costs, from projects that enhance nature. This puts us well on our way to achieving our target of realizing $1 billion in business value by 2025 by valuing nature in business decisions.
The goal of the blueprint is to inspire other organizations to consider incorporating nature into their decision-making. Nature provides services that enable our very lives, but these services have rarely been quantified in terms that allow us to include that value in key decisions, especially when it comes to business. Sustainable development requires that we be able to describe the value in terms that make nature comparable with other alternatives. Because when we do so, the natural solution is often the superior – and more economical – solution.
The new Valuing Nature blueprint is the fourth blueprint published by Dow as part of our 2025 Leading the Blueprint goal. We believe that partnerships between business, governments and civil society are essential to ensure society meets the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement targets. Our Leading the Blueprint goal is designed to highlight the value and necessity of incorporating diverse perspectives and collaborations to address global challenges. Other blueprints outline examples of Dow’s collaborative approaches to watershed management, carbon reductions and product safety.