Why use the NEAT Tree as a business or in the private sector?

  • Protecting and enhancing ecosystems can cause new business opportunities (e.g. by reducing costs, allowing price premiums and/or tapping new markets
  • Changing ecosystem services can become a significant business risks (e.g. when environmental inputs to the supply chain become scarce)
  • Business activities with negative environmental impacts can, for example, cause reputational and legal risks

Reasons to apply the Ecosystem Approach

Minimising business risks

Many businesses depend on the sustainable provision of direct and indirect products/services that the natural environment provides. Risk management is essential because these services are constantly changing and experience significant pressures. Businesses should also be concerned about their own impacts on the natural environment and ecosystem services. A poor environmental performance can cause significant indirect impacts, such as reputational, regulatory and legal risks, market and product risks, and financial risks.

Maximising business opportunity

Sustainable provision of ecosystem services may offer opportunities for new markets and customers as well as reduce costs. Businesses that have already achieved or are working towards implementing Environmental Management Systems such as the ISO 14000 family or the EU Eco-management and Audit Scheme can benefit further by applying the Ecosystem Approach. Examples of benefits include: addressing environmental risks to improve resilience and reduce costs; securing long-term environmental quality and potentially reducing regulatory burdens; working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to embed environmental performance in the wider economy.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a process that embraces responsibility for a company's actions through encouraging  a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities and wider stakeholders or public good. The enhancement of ecosystem services provides a powerful expression within which such activities might be pursued.