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Coke, Nike, Kimberly-Clark Commit to Valuing Natural Capital at RIO+20

Twenty-four major companies representing over $500 billion in combined revenues have agreed to incorporate ecosystems and biodiversity into their business strategies.

The initiative, announced at the United Nations RIO+20 Earth Summit this week, is organized by the Corporate Eco Forum and The Nature Conservancy.

An open-source e-report, The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital, illustrates the tangible value that nature provides and features 24 new commitments by participating companies. It also outlines a practical action framework and highlights the best-available tools for companies wishing to follow suit.

Among the commitments made, Kimberly-Clark aims to transition at least 50 percent of wood fiber sourced from natural forests to alternate fiber sources by 2025.

Other participating companies include Alcoa, CH2M HILL, The Clorox Company, Coca-Cola, Darden Restaurants, Dell, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Ecolab, EKO Asset Management, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, FEMSA, General Motors, Hanesbrands, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Nike, Patagonia, TD Bank, Unilever, The Walt Disney Company, Weyerhaeuser and Xerox.

While individual approaches vary, together the commitments underscore a compelling case for safeguarding critical forest, freshwater and marine systems that produce goods and services pivotal to long-term business continuity and global economic growth.

“The companies featured in our report are united in the view that immediate leadership to safeguard well-functioning ecosystems is a business imperative, not a matter of philanthropy,” said MR Rangaswami, Founder of the Corporate Eco Forum. “Rio+20 is an extraordinary opportunity to help a critical mass of global influencers grasp the true economic value of our planet’s natural assets and infrastructure. By mobilizing the power of our membership, and providing a platform for business to lead, we hope to catalyze even more private sector action and accelerate scalable solutions that can really have an impact.”

Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy added, “For a growing number of companies, “going green” is now a core business strategy. Those companies committed to making environmental initiatives a core part of their strategy and factoring the value of nature into their business plans are the ones that will lead their industries in earnings growth, productivity, innovation and employee satisfaction. They will also help in solving global environmental and social development challenges in the decades ahead. Leading corporations recognize that smart investments in nature made now can yield positive returns for their business, local communities and the environment.”

Bart King is a PR/marketing communications consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications. 

Bart King is the principal and founder of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. Follow him @bart_king and on LinkedIn.

[Read more about Bart King]

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