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Report Examines Business Implications of Environmental Change

A new publication warns that companies must transform business models and operations if they are to avoid major economic losses caused by the current degradation of ecosystems.

Ecosystem Challenges and Business Implications, produced by Earthwatch Institute, the World Conservation Union, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the World Resources Institute, is based on projections from the UN’s multi-year Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and interviews with a range of business leaders to assess the implications and strategies needed to respond to environmental challenges.

This research indicates that many companies recognize the risks associated with degrading ecosystems and are trying to adapt accordingly, but most fail to associate healthy ecosystems with their business interests. A collective business response is therefore needed to address the scale of environmental change currently taking place.

The publication examines the implications that water scarcity, climate change, nutrient overloading, biodiversity loss, habitat change and the overexploitation of oceans will have for the future of business. These include scarcity of raw materials, higher operating costs, government restrictions and reduced flexibility.

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