Valuing Nature: Kicking government up the backside for the environment

Valuing Nature: Kicking government up the backside for the environment
Valuing Nature Conference in Wellington July 9 and 10 with James Griffiths

The Valuing Nature conference, which takes place in Wellington on July 9 and 10, aims to galvanise government and businesses into protecting the environment.

Even if social good is dismissed as a motivator, Valuing Nature will emphasise the economic benefits that a company can enjoy while protecting the environment and New Zealand’s natural assets.

Guest speakers at the conference include PavanSukhdev, Robert T Watson and James Griffiths.

Ex-banker turned consultant, Sukhdev specializes in helping companies manage their environmental impact. Watson was formerly chief scientist for NASA and associate director for the environment during the Clinton administration. Today, he works for the World Bank.

Kiwi James Griffiths, based in Geneva, is another speaker at the conference and currently the managing director of Natural Capital for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).  

Griffiths co-ordinates partnerships between big business and organisations that protect natural assets. He raises some key questions for New Zealand, and how we value nature.

During his talk, Griffiths will discuss, “the role of global companies – and the broader private sector – in ensuring 9-10 billion people can live well within planetary limits by 2050.” As well as discussing New Zealand’s role in the “priority business and public policy solutions that need to be in play by 2020 to address the most pressing natural and social challenges we face.”

Griffiths says, “the business case for action by global companies on natural capital is compelling” and he highlights the ways business decision making can be improved by, "valuing nature using corporate ecosystem valuation":

- Identifying and valuing new revenue streams
- Saving costs
- Reducing taxes
- Sustaining revenues
- Revaluing assets
- Investigating new goods and services
- Assessing liability and compensation
- Measuring company shares and value
- Reporting performance

It is crucial that New Zealand figures out how to position itself to meet the demand of international consumer brand companies and retailers that are “increasingly seeking to build sustainability criteria into their supply chains,” says Griffiths.

For more information and to buy tickets to the conference, visit the Valuing Nature website.