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Integrating biodiversity into the economic model of organizations

New management models for socio-ecosystem sustainability by integrating biodiversity into the economic model of organizations (public or private)

. © INRA
Updated on 06/28/2017
Published on 04/17/2017

How do public and private organizations currently account for the impacts of their decisions and activities on the society and environment?

Why the central question of “environment” which integrates notions of environmental protection, biodiversity and restoration of natural habitats is so poorly addressed in reports on corporate social responsibility?

Probably because of a lack of methods and tools for quantifying the cost and added value represented by biodiversity! This is what led the prospective working group of the OREE Association to provide concrete solutions for organizations to integrate biodiversity into their strategies.

Biodiversity and Economics, research works

After a several years of thoughts, a research work on organizations’ accounting was implemented through a CIFRE PhD dissertation, sponsored by OREE, funded by the ANRT and four firms and supervised by Michel Trommetter, Director of Research at INRA and co-manager of the “biodiversity and economics” working group. The aim of this dissertation was to develop accounting tools enabling the regulation of both interactions between organizations and biodiversity and interactions between organizations in relation to biodiversity.

Management models considering biodiversity

The main result of the PhD research led by Ciprian Ionescu is to suggest a management tool for the durability of socio-ecosystems. This model organizes the coupling of various tools of environmental management focusing on the ecological resilience of territories: adaptive management, environmental accounting, and payments for ecosystemic services. The model allows compensating the costs of environmental conditions improvement by a redistribution of the benefits gained by the beneficiaries of eco-systemic services.

Three processes of economic and/or tax optimization are identified:

  • Statu quo process, based on the «polluter pays» principle for non-resilient or strictly resilient ecosystems and when managers are economically viable;
  • A perennial remuneration process from beneficiaries of the ecosystemic service based on the «polluter pays» principle when managers optimize the ecological potentialities of the managed ecosystems;
  • A process of temporary economic and technical subsidies granted by beneficiaries of the ecosystemic services when managers are economically impacted and managed ecosystems are non-resilient.

The model is based on the logic of ecological solidarity at variable scales and on the identification of numerous beneficiaries sometimes scattered. It uses tools and approaches already accessible to agents and permanently improved thanks to feedbacks from the agents and territories who will implement it.

Socio-ecosystems and framework

The prospective working group of the OREE Association carries on with its works and suggests a new PhD to go even further. Beyond the polluter-or-beneficiary-pays, the idea is to assess the relationships between dynamics of socio-economic agents and ecosystems by studying their potential interactions and developments on a territory.

Nowadays, far from being an oxymoron, biodiversity and economics participate in a precise way in the management of public or private organizations.

Is it a sufficient answer to Hubert Reeves’ statement “if you cannot take care of biodiversity, biodiversity will take care of you! A new economic model is to be built?

Scientific contact(s):

  • Michel TROMMETTER Joint research unit: « Economie Appliquée de Grenoble », UMR 1215 GAEL, CNRS, Grenoble INP, Inra, Univ. Grenoble-Alpes
Associated Division(s):
Social Sciences, Agriculture and Food, Rural Development and Environment.
Associated Centre(s):

Find out more

OREE Association

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OREE A multi-agents Association created in 1992, debates on the best environmental practices and implements tools for integrated environmental management at territory scale.
More than 170 actors (firms, territorial collectivities, trade and environmental associations, academic and institutional organisms) participate in these works.

Three priorities of actions for an environmental dynamic for territories: biodiversity and economics; circular economics; reporting CSR and local rooting in firms.  

Forum Biodiversité & Economie

The forum biodiversité & économie was organized by the French Agency for Biodiversity on November 24th and 25th 2016 in Paris.
This first edition had four objectives:

  • Bring together the economic actors who act for and through biodiversity, from all the activity sectors, from the major groups of firms to the smallest firms;
  • Develop actors’ initiatives and know-hows;
  • Set up a dynamic to increase the number of innovations, partnerships and results;
  • Create links between economic actors and the French Agency for Biodiversity.