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Executive Perspectives

The Hub features nearly 60 examples of corporate-led natural capital initiatives. Senior executives share why these efforts are core to their business.


 "Alcoa's sustainable water strategy will have enormous benefits for water systems connected to our operations and, to date, has resulted in significant capital cost and operating savings compared to conventional tank-based treatment systems—over the last eight years, we estimate savings of at least $50 million, with this only increasing when implemented across all appropriate Alcoa locations."

Kevin McKnight, Chief Sustainability Officer, Alcoa
CASE STUDY: Natural Systems for Sustainable Water Management

 

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"With the recent emphasis being placed on environmental sustainability, impacts to ecosystem services are becoming an area of increasing interest for regulatory agencies and stakeholders.  AEP has collaborated with EPRI to better understand how these services are measured and impacts to them are assessed.  This effort has allowed us to make better land use decisions, minimize impacts to ecosystem services, and support the company's sustainability efforts."

John McManus, VP, Environmental Services, AEP
 
CASE STUDY: Assessing Ecosystem Services Using the InVEST Model for Land Use Planning - Case Study of the American Electric Power ReCreation Lands, Ohio

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"Our company is a leader in Sustainability in our industry.  Our challenge with developing this site was to think out of the conventional box on storm water management with a path that would meet regulatory requirements, but at the same time provide enhancement to the overall environment. This project is a confirmation of our commitment to marry business objectives with natural capital projects that enhance our efforts in reducing our total Environmental Footprint."

James McKeown, Director of Environment & Energy Affairs, Bimbo Bakeries USA
CASE STUDY: Innovative Stormwater Management

 

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"Parceria pela biodiversidade is allowing Souza Cruz to understand the practicalities for farmers to manage and enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services on their farms. This will ultimately help farmers make the landscapes we source from more sustainable."

Carlos Palma, Corporate Affairs Manager – Leaf, Souza Cruz
COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY: Parceria pela Biodiversidade (Partnership for Biodiversity)

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"Expanding our collaborative efforts to promote green infrastructure solutions is a natural extension of our company's longstanding efforts to "walk the talk" in our operations. Now our clients are part of a much larger effort to weave sustainability into every aspect of what we do, from consulting through design and construction to operations and management. The ripple effects and interconnected impacts on our communities and ecosystems are almost limitless and align very well with our core values as a company."

Elisa Speranza, President, Corporate Affairs, Technology, and Sustainability, CH2M HILL
CASE STUDY: Engaging Clients to Improve Environmental Stewardship with Green Infrastructure Solutions 

 

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"At Clorox, nearly half our sales are from products that have water as a key ingredient. Maintaining freshwater health is fundamental for us, and we have found opportunities both in our supply chain and in our product development areas to realize ambitious water reduction and protection goals while also reducing business risks and costs, distinguishing our brands, meeting our consumers' needs and growing our company."

Bill Morrissey, Vice President of Environmental Sustainability, The Clorox Company
CASE STUDY: Water Reduction, Recapture and Restoration

 

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"The analytics that underpin valuing nature are really still in formation. I think that's where the science and the economists really have to come together to create new ways of putting some real metrics around valuing these assets that underpin all health, and productivity and well-being on the planet. If we undervalue those assets and continue to degrade them—we're going to do so at our peril."

Jeff Seabright, VP of Environment & Water Resources, Coca-Cola
CASE STUDY: Valuing Nature

 

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"This study provided us greater understanding of Danone in the ecosystem. Knowing our interaction with ecosystem services brings us fundamental inputs to the strategy of  our business and its sustainability."

Adriana Matarazzo - R&D and Sustainability Director - Danone Brazil
CASE STUDY:Ensuring Stable Supply Chains and Production Capabilities for Danone-Brazil

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"We believe in a collaborative approach to support healthy ecosystems and are proud to serve as an initial contributor to the Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund as a sustaining and solution-oriented model for change. We are committed to catalyzing and supporting healthy fisheries to ultimately ensure a sustainable global seafood supply for future generations."

Brandon Tidwell, Manager of Sustainability, Darden Restaurants
COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY: Catalyzing Industry to Rebuild World Fisheries

 

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"Powering the Possible is more than a statement about our commitment to corporate responsibility — it's the truth about technology and what it's enabling in the world"

Michael Dell, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Dell
CASE STUDY: Powering the Possible for the Environment

 

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"First and foremost the project is about joining forces in order to demonstrate how together we can help tackle the big problems of climate change and tropical deforestation. Protecting nature and its ecosystems is not only the responsible thing to do; it is also about protecting the environment and natural systems that we all depend on for business and life in general. It is of fundamental importance for any business leader who thinks of the big picture – people, planet and profits."

Roland Jonkhoff, Managing Director, Desso
COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY: Platform BEE - REDD+ Business Programme

 

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"Restoring forest ecosystems is an important part of Disney's commitment to minimize our impact on the environment and protect it for future generations. Investing in forests is a natural solution to help us reach our goal of net zero direct carbon emissions, while also protecting valuable watersheds and habitats that wildlife and communities depend upon."

Robert A. Iger, Chairman & CEO, The Walt Disney Company
CASE STUDY: Investing in Natural Solutions

 

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"Instead of thinking about independent solutions, we must look at integrated systems. Natural systems not only serve multiple functions, but have multiple benefits – often requiring less capital and less maintenance while promoting biodiversity that we all enjoy."

Andrew Liveris, Chairman & CEO, The Dow Chemical Company
CASE STUDY: Dow Chemical Collaboration with The Nature Conservancy - Brazil Pilot

 

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"Healthy forests are key to ensuring a sustainable future. Biotechnology may be a useful tool for combating threats to our forests, such as non-native pathogens that are attacking many of our native tree species. The Forest Health Initiative is working to ensure the concerns about biotechnology are addressed through thorough, transparent processes and Duke Energy is proud to sponsor this work."

Shawn Heath, Chief Sustainability Officer, Duke Energy
CASE STUDY:Restoration of the American Chestnut to Central Appalachian Forests

 

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"Water scarcity and poor water quality impact more than a billion people around the world.  Millions of people die every year from diseases linked to water and sanitation issues. Ecolab is fortunate to have considerable water management expertise, and we're sharing this expertise with others who are working to address the serious water challenges facing our world."

Douglas M. Baker, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Ecolab
CASE STUDY: Supporting the Alliance for Water Stewardship International Water Stewardship Standard

 

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"Harnessing natural infrastructure is of enormous interest to investors, including family offices, foundations, endowments, pension funds and other large institutional investors. Private capital can play an important role to support the transition from gray to green, and NatLab's work in Philadelphia points the way to several  promising investment opportunities that also have meaningful environmental and community benefits."

Eron Bloomgarden, Partner, EKO Asset Management Partners
CASE STUDY: The Natural Infrastructure Innovative Financing Lab (NatLab) Partnership

 

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"As our company marked its 50th Anniversary, this was our way of saying thanks for our first 50 years by making a really meaningful and significant commitment for the next 50. We are in this for the long haul, in keeping with our responsibility to help preserve the environment around us for future generations. We know that planting a million trees a year isn't a complete solution, but it's a solid step in the right direction."

Andy Taylor, Executive Chairman, Enterprise Holdings
CASE STUDY: Enterprise Holdings 50 Million Tree Pledge

 

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"With access to water being essential for Exelon Generation's production of electricity, we recognize that water is a shared resource, with increasing competing uses.  Accordingly, Exelon is committed to the long-term sustainability of the water resources upon which we all rely.  Effective partnerships are essential to manage this resource sustainably. The Common Waters Fund provides such an opportunity in the Delaware River Basin."

Vicky Will, Vice President, Power Environmental Services, Exelon Generation
COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY: Common Waters Fund

 

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"Creating positive change in our communities is essential in our sustainability philosophy as a company. By working on Water Funds, which we support through FEMSA Foundation's involvement in the Latin American Water Funds Partnership, we have seen amazing change in the quality of life of communities while fostering a connection with their watersheds. We definitely believe Water Funds are a great vehicle to create economic, social, and environmental value simultaneously today and in the future."

José Antonio Fernandez Carbajal, Executive Chairman of the Board FEMSA
COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY: Latin American Water Funds Partnership

 

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"GM recognizes that our long-term success requires us to be environmental stewards. Going landfill-free has been a true win-win: not only has it reduced our footprint and made us money, it's helping to protect our watersheds and soil and enabling us to restore lands into healthy, productive ecosystems around the world."

Michael J. Robinson, Vice President - Sustainability & Global Regulatory Affairs, General Motors

CASE STUDY: Safeguarding Ecosystems through Cost-Effective Waste Mangaement

 

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"Assigning a value to nature helps us visualize and incorporate environmental issues within our decision-making processes. Our Policies state that we should seek environmental improvement, wherever resources and opportunities allow. Application of the EROVA tool is now helping our company to determine the environmental value generated through our own past and potential protected area conservation initiatives.  In addition, for evaluation purposes in the permitting of new projects, EROVA will work as a powerful tool to help us establish better-defined mitigation and compensation measures." 

Gustavo Pössel, Environmental Manager, Antofagasta Minerals S.A. 
CASE STUDY: Development of a natural capital accounting tool to inform business decision-making

 

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"HanesBrands is excited to have flax fiber in its product line which not only provides a superior natural product to our customers by enhancing wicking capabilities and durability when combined with cotton but also offers several ecological benefits including reduced pesticide use lower water use improved soil health and avoided deforestation."

Mike Faircloth Chief Supply Chain Officer HanesBrands Inc.
CASE STUDY: Introducing Innovative Products Using Sustainable Flax Fiber

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"In an effort to help create a more sustainable world, HP Earth Insights uses our products and services to deliver near real-time analytics to provide scientists with more accurate and more actionable environmental information. The results of the early warning system demonstrate the ability of HP to use big data to address the world's most complex challenges for our customers and partners across sectors, industries and organizations."

Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer, HP
CASE STUDY: HP Earth Insights

 

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"We developed the E P&L to have a true understanding of the Natural Capital we rely on as a business. Placing a monetary value on our environmental impacts across our group of brands allows us to make better informed operational decisions, while minimizing future business risks which will be critical to the future welfare of corporations."

Michael Beutler, Director of Sustainability Operations, Kering
CASE STUDY: Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L)

 

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"Kimberly-Clark is proud of the efforts we have made to address deforestation risk in our supply chain through an industry-leading fiber-procurement policy, inclusive stakeholder engagement practices and an active risk-management program. We're motivated to deliver essentials for a better life to more people worldwide while reducing the environmental impacts on the world in which we live." 

Lisa Morden, Senior Director of Global Sustainability, Kimberly-Clark
CASE STUDY: Reducing Kimberly-Clark's Forest Fiber Footprint

 

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"Sustainability encompasses many activities that promote responsible growth, protect our environment, and strengthen our workforce and our communities. It means that we will continue to act with integrity in everything we do, and we will take action to: ensure the safety and health of our employees, develop a diverse and inclusive workforce, increase the environmental and social benefits of our products, make our operations greener, volunteer in our communities, and support science and technology education."

Marillyn Hewson, Chief Executive Officer, Lockheed Martin
CASE STUDY: Protecting Natural Infrastructure through e-waste Stewardship

 

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"Marriott International sees environmental sustainability as critical to our business. With an increase in global travel comes a growing need to conserve precious resources and lessen our impact — within our hotel operations and beyond. This will help sustain travel and tourism for many years to come."

Arne Sorenson, President & CEO, Marriott International, Inc.  
CASE STUDY: The Amazon's Juma Reserve & the Sustainable Development of Fairfield by Marriott Hotels in Brazil

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"We instituted a carbon fee last year because it had the potential to ignite a culture change, and that's exactly what's starting to happen. A carbon price means that we now have a common language for how to drive awareness around and begin to reduce emissions. It's made environmental sustainability an increasingly important part of how Microsoft does business."

Robert Bernard, Environmental Chief, Microsoft
CASE STUDY: Microsoft Sets an Internal Price on Carbon, Charges an Internal Carbon Fee

 

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"National Australia Bank recognizes that all companies are dependent on ecosystem services, either through their supply chains, around their operating sites, or via their customers. For these reasons, we endorse the Natural Capital Declaration."

Cameron Clyne, CEO, National Australia Bank
CASE STUDY: Natural Capital Declaration

 

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"The greatest challenges are in reducing the impact of our complex value chains, helping farmers to make agricultural production more efficient while preserving the natural capital that delivers the ecosystem services we all rely on…. In CPSL we have found a network of like‐minded companies and thought leaders through which we are committed to contribute to this defining challenge of the 21st century."


José Lopez, Executive Vice President, Nestlé and Natural Capital Leaders Platform Chair
COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY: Natural Capital Leaders Platform

 

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"New Forests has been actively developing new market opportunities around biodiversity and forest conservation finance since it established the Malua Biobank in 2008. Now is an exciting time for the Malua BioBank as these markets comes to fruition and we introduce new partners into the project. We believe the Malua BioBank provides an example for how innovative approaches can make conservation a sustainable and attractive opportunity for investors in Malaysia and beyond."

David Brand, Managing Director, New Forests
CASE STUDY: Malua Biobank

 

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"As many indicators of the health of our planet continue to decline, Patagonia recognizes that this is, in part, an effect of the production of consumer goods on the planet's limited natural capital and ecosystem services.  By measuring the impact that supply chains have on biodiversity in different regions of the world, Patagonia and other companies can make more informed decisions regarding how and where products are made."

Rick Ridgeway, Vice President Environmental Initiatives, Patagonia
CASE STUDY:Measuring Supply Chain Impacts on Land Use and Biodiversity 

 

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"We have been closely involved in the development of the methodology the NVI has used to evaluate the 31 companies. We will be using the results of the Ecosystem Services Benchmark to identify companies that need further action on this issue and ask more about their approach. The ability to understand where the less proactive companies are on an issue and focus our effort in these resource-constrained times is invaluable."

Julie Gorte, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Pax World
COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY: Natural Value Initiative

 

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"As global populations continue to grow, managing the relationship and trade-offs between water, food and energy is only going to become more critical. SABMiller seeks to apply this kind of nexus thinking to our business decisions. We share the risks related to these resources with local communities and other stakeholders, so collective understanding and collective action are key."

Andy Wales, Senior Vice President Sustainable Development, SABMiller

CASE STUDY: Barley Extension Program in Rajastan

 

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"Green infrastructure solutions can bring benefits for companies, for communities and for the environment. Shell is proud to be part of an innovative collaboration through Petroleum Development Oman to bring nature into a water treatment process. Bringing in a green infrastructure solution has helped lower costs and carbon emissions."

Rupert Thomas VP, Environment, Shell 
CASE STUDY: Water Treatment Using Manmade Wetlands

 

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"At TD we work to embed the environment into the fabric of our organization. We have four environment pillars that help us do this – reduce our environmental footprint, green products and services, responsible financing and engaging employees and communities in the environment. We designed TD Forests to touch each of these areas – that's how we make the environment central to everything we do and just part of how we do business."

Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD Bank Group
CASE STUDY: TD Forests Program to Conserve North American Ecosystems

 

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"Unilever's business is part of a complex supply chain, including farmers and plantation owners, processors, refiners and traders of raw materials. To meet our ambitious target of 100 percent traceable and certified palm oil by 2020 we'll need to work closely with all of them to transform farming practices and encourage a wider move towards sustainability within the industry. Partnerships help us moving forward and by end 2014 all the palm oil we buy will be traceable to known sources. There is more to do, but we believe that by setting ambitious targets can we drive change in our business and in the wider world."

Gail Klintworth, Corporate Sustainability Officer, Unilever
CASE STUDY:100% Certified Sustainably-Sourced Palm Oil

 

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"Sustainability is part of the strategy of Walmart Brazil, and the preservation of the Amazon is one of our priorities. In this sense, the results of the ESR tool strengthened the strategy already adopted by Walmart since it proved an accurate risk assessment and expanded business opportunities, stimulating the continuity of our work."

Camila Valverde, Director of Sustainability, Walmart-Brazil
CASE STUDY: Using the Ecosystems Services Review to Avoid Deforestation in Brazilian Beef Production

 

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"Our Natural Capital Management System is integrated into core systems and enables Webcor to increase our clients' value, reduce their risk and enhance their reputations by exposing both potentially crippling problems and unforeseen opportunities."

Phil Williams, Vice President, Webcor Builders
CASE STUDY: Applying Natural Capital Management to Building Construction

 

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"Measuring and reporting on the diverse ecosystem services provided by the 20.8 million acres of land we own or manage shows that our forests provide much more than timber. This effort allows us to translate these additional benefits into value for our customers, communities and other interested stakeholders."  

Tom Gideon, Executive Vice President Timberlands, Weyerhaeuser
CASE STUDY: Driving Sustainability for Additional Value with Ecosystem Services

 

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"What gets measured, gets managed… and should be recognized.  Our commitment with The Nature Conservancy is to establish a methodology for quantifying the carbon benefits associated with improved forest management, with the goal of enabling incentives for such actions. We can drive improved forest management across the paper supply chain, while at the same time, support local communities and regional economic development goals." 

Diane O'Conner, VP, Environment, Health, Safety, & Sustainability, Xerox
CASE STUDY: Sustainable Forests, Sustainable Futures

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