From impacts to dependencies: A first global assessment of corporate biodiversity risk exposure and responses

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Abstract

There is growing awareness that biodiversity loss poses a significant risk to the global economy, but a lack of clarity on what this means for corporations, and how they are responding. This study provides a first quantitative assessment of biodiversity risk exposure across the world’s largest listed companies, compared with their adoption of biodiversity policies, through analysis of disclosures from a sample of 11,812 companies from 2004-2018. We find that companies have started responding strategically to biodiversity risk, with 29% having adopted a biodiversity policy by 2018. However, around $7.2 trillion of total enterprise value remains exposed to unmanaged biodiversity risk. Companies in sectors with material impacts on biodiversity tend to have high levels of response, but there is poorer responsiveness to material biodiversity dependency risks. A natural-capital-based view (NCBV) of the firm is proposed to theorise how corporations are constrained by both their impacts and dependencies on natural capital.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 May 2022

Keywords

  • biodiversity
  • natural capital
  • impacts
  • dependencies
  • risk
  • materiality

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