wildflower-meadow-2A Final Report, compiled by the Ecosystem Markets Task Force, has revealed that the business world is still unaware of its true reliance on nature, and risks losing out as a consequence.

The Task Force was set up in response to the2011 Natural Environment White Paper, ‘The Natural Choice’, to identify win-win business opportunities that deliver benefits for both nature and business.

Natural assets like water, crops, pollination and biodiversity underpin the success of every business.

The business-led review states that helping companies fully understand their reliance on these ‘natural goods and services’ will play an essential role in helping the UK overcome the tough environmental and economic challenges ahead.

The traditional linear model of business and consumption – take, make, discard – degrades the essential services provided by nature and there is now an increasing desire for change. A growing demand for environmental products, processes and standards has been identified as one of the main drivers for growth over the next decade.


Companies stand to gain a significant competitive advantage by becoming resource efficient and expanding green goods, services, products, investment vehicles and markets. Those that don’t, risk losing out as governments act to protect nature through regulation or taxes while resource prices continue to face upward pressure.

The report states: “Companies that can lead on this issue and innovate will see both opportunity and reputational wins, but the laggards are likely to lose out from price pressures and loss of share to nimbler rivals.”

The Task Force, chaired by Ian Cheshire, chief executive of the DIY chain Kingfisher, highlights four broad areas offering substantial benefit for both nature and business: Carbon and Markets for Nature, the Food Cycle, the Water Cycle and Natural Capital: cross cutting themes.

View a full list of the Task Force’s recommendations in the Final Report.