Companies and communities rely on nature for everything: from maintaining resource streams to filtering the air and water to protecting their factories from floods. As ecosystems are degraded, their ability to continue to provide these often undervalued or taken for granted services is limited.
Businesses are increasingly looking to innovative natural solutions in support of their activities – whether it is investing in forests to secure their water supply, or restoring marshes to protect factories from storm surges. There are opportunities for new, often cost-effective solutions for the private sector as well as in reducing future risk by mitigating the degradation of the services we get from nature, which are crucial for both communities and companies.
“Understanding the value of nature and nature-based solutions is a pioneering business strategy that can lead to improved decision-making and enhancement of a company’s long-term sustainability,” explains Jen Molnar, managing director of the Center for Sustainability Science and lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy.
Moving from strategy to action requires businesses to understand and apply conservation research, and this not only entails tools that are accessible to a variety of skillsets and levels of decision-makers within a company, but also adopting them into the culture. And scientists need to work with companies to learn to translate ecosystem science into metrics and tools that are both credible and can be readily used in the business context.
The Center for Sustainability Science will help fill this gap, through the work of the Conservancy with corporate partners and policymakers to identify and implement nature-based solutions to solve societal challenges. Its goal is to ensure business leaders have access to information and tools grounded in science, while being practical and useful to a broad range of users and decision makers at various levels.
Quick Facts about the Center for Sustainability Science:
- It will provide strategic and nimble leadership in bringing resources and expertise to opportunities to co-create solutions with the private and public sectors.
- It is a virtual center —being based in The Nature Conservancy— with the ability to draw on experience of the NGO’s some 3,600 staff in 50 US states and over 40 countries – from implementing conservation projects on the ground around the world, to influencing policy and practice at the global scale.
- Additional resources through our partnerships with universities, research institutes and other NGOs in advancing practical research will be available.
- By focusing on specific case studies and tools based on actual collaborative efforts, it will also incorporate important input from decision-makers in the private and public sector.
- It will facilitate communication of the research ant tools to both strategic influencers and public audiences.
- Initial collaborative initiatives will focus on increasing investment in natural infrastructure and transforming supply chains.
For additional information, please contact Jen Molnar.