A resilience approach to corporate biodiversity impact measurement

Measuring biodiversity impact is attracting corporate attention as firms face increasing scrutiny over the ongoing sixth mass extinction of animals. Extant approaches to measurement are relatively nascent and do not directly address the dynamic complexity that can cause abrupt ecosystem change. Measurement approaches largely overlook when transformational change may occur and how changes to biodiversity may influence its likelihood. We posit that corporate biodiversity impact measurement can be advanced by incorporating resilience thinking from the natural sciences. Resilience thinking can refocus measurement on how biodiversity contributes to an ecosystem’s capacity to adapt to disturbances and avoid sudden, transformative change. We propose a set of seven key mechanisms that can inform measurement development across three biodiversity attributes: abundance, composition and distribution. To conclude, we discuss opportunities for accounting researchers to advance corporate biodiversity measurement approaches connected to ecosystem resilience.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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