Analysing corporate forest disclosure: How does business value biodiversity?
Business Strategy and the Environment
Centre for People, Place and Planet
Corporations are failing to account for their impact on biodiversity despite accelerating extinctions. The value of biodiversity to business can be explained by an environmental philosophy spectrum, where perspectives range from anthropocentric (humans are prioritised) to ecocentric (all life is equal), made up of paradigms and values linked to biodiversity protection. We explore the biodiversity values conveyed by the 40 largest corporations responding to the CDP Forest Questionnaire using 28 specific yes/no criteria aligned with the environmental philosophy spectrum. Strong anthropocentric perspectives focused on economic contribution dominated, conveying a desire to protect company reputation, thereby legitimising operations. Corporations seemingly only protect biodiversity that hold material benefits for humans. Some biocentric/ecocentric perspectives were conveyed in terms of extinction risk and sometimes intrinsic value. This could be a response to the accelerating global biodiversity crisis, offering hope corporations can protect all forms of biodiversity and could evidence ecocentric leadership informing business strategy.