Graduation Year

2020

Graduation Month

May

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

School or Department

Biological Sciences, Division of

Major

Biology – Ecology and Organismal Biology

Faculty Mentor

Jakki Mohr

Faculty Mentor Department

Business School

Keywords

Business sustainability, ecosystem services, natural capital, business

Subject Categories

Business

Abstract

Historically, business practices have negatively affected the natural environment. Many environmental problems originated from businesses’ view of nature as a source of cheap inputs. Moreover, businesses haven’t accounted for negative environmental impacts on “natural capital” (e.g. water, forests, pollination, etc.) from manufacturing, pollution, toxic waste, shipping, and transportation. Given that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure,” various organizations are developing models and metrics to quantify business impacts on natural capital, and leading businesses are forging ahead with financial valuations. For example, the Kering Group displays their natural capital valuations through an interactive “Environmental Profit and Loss” calculator, displaying global environmental impacts in Euros. Despite the compelling logic of accounting for impacts on nature, few businesses do so. Our research conducted through in-depth interviews with businesses, NGOs, consultants, and others highlights the array of motives behind these companies’ efforts, as well as the challenges they have overcome. In addition, our research demonstrates that valuations of natural capital affect decision making in powerful and unexpected ways.

Honors College Research Project

Yes

GLI Capstone Project

no

Included in

Business Commons

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© Copyright 2020 Carmen L. Thissen and Jakki J. Mohr