NBS Insight - Question 1

I am looking for Best Practice Examples of Pro Biodiversity Business. Posted by Udo Gattenlöhner, Global Nature Fund - International Foundation for Nature and Environment


One really interesting project was undertaken by Dow Chemical in 2016. Dow had embraced the idea of Nature Based Solutions when the term was almost non-existent, building constructed wetlands in order to treat industrial wastewater as early as 1995. Last year, they worked with The Nature Conservancy to assess how many acres of woodland would need to be planted in order to naturally sequester nitrogen pollution from one of their factories in Texas.

Dow and The Nature Conservancy worked with universities and researchers to identify site-specific solutions. They concluded that planting 1,000 acres of forest could, over three decades, remove 127 to 209 tons of regulated nitrogen oxide emissions – compounds that contribute to potentially harmful ground-level ozone.

Planting this forest would likely cost $1,700 to $3,200 per ton of nitrogen oxide sequestered, making it potentially comparable in cost to the mechanical alternative. The conventional method – installing facility retrofits such as smokestack scrubbers – could cost $2,500 to $5,000 per ton. Plus, Dow would have to replace the scrubbers every two decades, whereas the forest would largely maintain and regenerate itself.

Besides purifying the air, the forest would also provide a multitude of cost-free co-benefits, not only sequestering carbon, promoting healthy soils, and the other services that we know are provided by healthy forests, but also providing a huge new habit for local biodiversity.

Posted on: 10 Oct 2017 - 14:01

Dear Joseph,

Could you provide details where more information about this interesting Dow project can be found? Thank you for your kind help in advance.

Best wishes, Veronika

Posted on: 27 Dec 2018 - 15:35

Businesses not only recognise the importance of being environmentally sustainable and enhancing biodiversity, they are increasingly understanding the value of implementing Nature-based Solutions to address the company’s challenges and provide economic benefits to the business alongside environmental and social benefits. Examples include:

Shell Global is using reed beds to clean water produced as a by-product of their activities in Oman. This is more cost-effective for the company than traditional mechanical methods and also provides benefits for wildlife and water conservation. The project won the Global Water Award, which was presented in 2011 by Kofi Annan.

Apple realise their reliance on cardboard and paper is having an impact on forest ecosystems and are addressing this by investing in 36,000 acres of forest in the United States.

Coca-Cola relies on water, both in terms of ongoing access to water and providing social support on license to operate. The company’s “water replenishment strategy” is directing investment beyond the company fence-lines to improve upstream ecosystems. The company supports conservation efforts focused on regions including the river basins of the Amazon, Mekong, and Zambezi.

Unilever have been working with Rainforest Alliance for more than 10 years to support the transition of more than 750,000 smallholders to sustainable practices and pioneered a range of sustainable agriculture programmes.

Posted on: 10 Oct 2017 - 14:08

British land's Head of Sustainability Sarah Cary has been pushing the economic benefits of green infrastructure for a long time, eg with the large biodiverse green roof on their Bishopsgate Building



The Rubens at the Palace Hotel in Victoria, London, invested in the largest green walls in the UK at the time, as a statement on their support for biodiversity and better, healthier places, designed by Gary Grant.


Many more urban greening examples like these will be shared in talks and workshops at EUGIC 2017 Budapest 29-30 November, at which Oppla is a partner, organised by Dusty Gedge President of the EFB and founder of Livingroofs.org, and CEEweb for Biodiversity

Info and booking here: www.eugic.events

Posted on: 10 Oct 2017 - 14:21