A man drops a bag of oyster shells on a pile of bags.
Oyster Restoration Volunteers build an oyster reef in Alabama's Mobile Bay to help restore the Gulf of Mexico. © Erika Nortemann/TNC

Transforming Business Practices

Nature-Based Solutions

What’s good for nature can also be good for business. Smart business decisions should and must consider responsible ecological management.

At the heart of resilient communities are healthy ecosystems. With increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and more severe natural disasters, it has never been more important to conserve the natural systems that protect our environment and nourish biodiversity. Yet, as our global population continues to grow, natural landscapes are bulldozed for development projects and natural ecosystems are degraded. 

The view of a river and trees from an office window.
Constructed Wetland. This wetland, in Midland, Michigan, was constructed in place of a traditional ash pond near a Dow Chemical Company facility. © Neil Hawkins

But, development doesn’t need to be this disruptive to natural ecosystems. In fact, there are strong business incentives for the private sector to apply nature-based solutions to their operations through the use, sustainable management, or mimicking of natural processes that increase resilience, clean our air and water, and reduce disaster risk.

In addition to environmental benefits, leveraging the power of nature provides environmental and social advantages that pay off financially. For example: 

  • Public coastal wetlands prevented more than $625 million in property damages during Hurricane Sandy and reduced property damages throughout the Northeastern United States by 10 percent, on average.
  • Oyster reef and wetland restoration could prevent up to $50 billion in damages to assets along the Gulf Coast and have an average benefit-to-cost ratio of 3:5:1.
  • Trees reduce concentrations of particulate matter and other pollutants in the air, improving air quality for city dwellers. 


It has never been more important to conserve the natural systems that protect our environment and nourish biodiversity.

People with a boat check on a stretch of oyster reef.
Oyster Reef Restoration Monitoring oyster reefs from Virginia's Eastern Shore. © Bo Lusk / TNC

TNC works with the private sector to mainstream and scale nature-based solutions to solve today’s pressing environmental and business challenges. By engaging with diverse stakeholders, including companies, as well as governments and communities, we are using nature-based solutions to create a more livable planet for people and nature. 

Key strategies include: 

  • Protecting freshwater resources by establishing water funds and implementing corporate water replenishment, or balance, projects in water insecure areas internationally with a variety of companies. Learn more.
  • Developing and implementing tools and resources, like the ESII Tool, that the private sector can use to invest in nature as part of their operations, and to change how nature is viewed by project managers, engineers, and executives. Learn more.
  • Shaping the broader corporate dialogue around incorporating nature into business by working with our Business Council to publish a white paper on implementing and scaling nature-based solutions in the private sector. Learn more.
  • Collaborating with the public and private sectors, as well as academic institutions, to learn how to better incorporate nature-based solutions into business operations. Learn more.

Nature-based solutions have the potential to unlock environmental, social, and economic benefits for communities around the world. Incorporating the power of nature into business and development is essential for creating a healthier planet that nourishes and sustains all life.