This step helps you assess the importance of the biodiversity dependencies and impacts of your business.
We define biodiversity valuation as the process of estimating the relative importance, worth, or usefulness of biodiversity components to business or people, in a particular context. Biodiversity measurement and valuation go hand in hand, with measurement being a first step towards informed valuation for improved decision-making. In other words, you need to assess how much biodiversity you use and / or impact on before you can value its importance in a specific context (see step 3 of our biodiversity mainstreaming guidelines).
To choose which valuation approach is best for your assessment, you should consider:
- Your target audience - i.e. who you want to convince for improved decision-making; and
- The value perspective that would best fit your target audience.
Valuation may involve
, or monetary
approaches, or a combination of these, as described by the Natural Capital Protocol:
- Qualitative valuation: Valuation that describes impacts or dependencies and may rank them into categories such as high, medium, or low.
- Quantitative valuation: Valuation that uses non-monetary units such as numbers (e.g. in a composite index), areas, mass, or volume to assess the magnitude of impacts or dependencies.
- Monetary valuation: Valuation that uses money (e.g. ZAR) as the common unit to assess the values of impacts and/or dependencies.
In addition, there are two main value perspectives:
- Business value: The costs and benefits to the business, also referred to as internal, private, financial, or shareholder value.
- Societal values: The costs and benefits to wider society, also referred to as external, public, or stakeholder value (or externalities).
So as to be able to value the biodiversity dependencies and impacts of your business, we invite you to consult the forthcoming guidance document for this fourth step of our biodiversity mainstreaming guidelines. This should help you:
- Understand the basic concepts underpinning the valuation of biodiversity dependencies and impacts, including the selection and use of valuation methods;
- Frame, plan for and undertake an appropriate biodiversity dependency and / or impact valuation, depending on your target audience(s) and value perspective(s) amongst other factors.