Strategic sustainability: nature's price

Published on August 31, 2016   29 min

A selection of talks on Strategy

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Welcome, this presentation is about Nature's Price. I'm Dan Fogel, and I'm Director of the Graduate Programs in Sustainability. I'm also a Graduate Research Professor in Sustainability at Wake Forest University.
Most of the material you're gonna hear today comes from my new book called "Strategic Sustainability". It's a natural environmental lens on organizations and management. I wrote this book for mostly business school students, students in sustainability programs, and practicing managers. And the whole purpose of this is to get beyond the notion of just cost cutting and compliance. And to see how we can use sustainability, the natural environmental lens, as a source of competitiveness.
Most people say, "Nature is priceless!" And I'm gonna challenge that notion during this presentation. I'm gonna say, "Is nature priceless?" "Could we possibly put price on nature that would actually help us to understand more that nature is priceless?" Well, what would that price be? Is that $142,700? Maybe it's a $142,700,000, or maybe billions or trillions. In fact, some researchers have said that this is the price that they have put on nature.
Now how did they get at this? They actually looked at all the services that nature can possibly give and provided some value to those, if we had to replace them, for example, by the built-environment, by human invention or design. Then it will give you some comparison. What is the world GDP as of last year? Take a moment to think about this. Well, the estimate is almost $78 trillion that gives you some perspective about nature's price, how valuable nature is. That it's almost twice, what in fact, the world GDP is. So let's take a look at this. Let's take a look at nature. Let's take a look at nature's price. Let's take a look at the services that nature provides. And see if we can understand how we can use this idea as a source of competitiveness.