The pilot is part of the two organizations’ collaboration, which began in 2011, aimed at helping Dow and the greater business community recognize the value that nature has in business decisions and goals. The collaboration’s progress is detailed in Dow and TNC’s 2014 Annual Progress Report.
The organizations say the new pilot will provide a blueprint for a corporate process to:
- Establish a baseline general understanding of the value of ecosystem services across multiple sites;
- Screen multiple decisions for their benefit from and impact on nature; and
- Evaluate the most promising natural-capital opportunities in depth based on how they benefit business, society and nature.
The Ecosystem Services Identification & Inventory Tool, which is designed to help companies estimate the business value from nature on and adjacent to their sites, as well as the public value from lands on-site, will be used as part of the pilot to rapidly assess eight ecosystems services on and adjacent to business sites. Baseline data from the tool will help build a better understanding of the value of nature to the business and surrounding community.
In 2015, the team expects to finalize the tool for sharing across Dow and among a select set of external corporate users, with wider availability in early 2016.
Last year marked the fourth year of Dow and TNC’s six-year agreement. Dow and The Dow Chemical Company Foundation have collectively committed $10 million to the Collaboration during this time period.
Ecosystem services may shape future policy and regulations as well as government expectations of the private sector, particularly on public lands, according to a 2013 report by BSR.