The survey found that one in four CEOs worldwide sees biodiversity loss as a strategic issue for business growth

The survey was undertaken as part of a study called The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), published on 13 July. It found that one in four CEOs worldwide sees biodiversity loss as a strategic issue for business growth.

However, there are significant differences between continents. Over 50% of CEOs surveyed in Latin America and 45% in Africa see declines in biodiversity as a challenge to business growth. In contrast, less than 20% of their counterparts in western Europe share such concerns.

The findings suggest that those corporate chiefs who fail to make sustainable management of biodiversity part of their business plans may find themselves increasingly out of step with the marketplace.

This is reinforced by another recent survey, also spotlighted in the TEEB report, that shows rising interest in biodiversity among consumers: 60% of those surveyed in America and Europe and over 90% in Brazil were aware of biodiversity loss. What’s more, over 80% of the consumers surveyed said they would stop buying products from companies that disregard ethical considerations in their sourcing practices.

Pavan Sukhdev, the TEEB study leader (and head of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Economy Initiative) said: “Through the work of TEEB and others, the economic importance of biodiversity and ecosystems is emerging from the invisible into the visible spectrum. It is clear that some companies in some sectors and on some continents are hearing and acting on that message in order to build more sustainable 21st-century businesses.”

 

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