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Opportunities for UK business that protect and value nature’s services – report published today

12 promising opportunities for UK business to help protect and value nature’s services were identified in a report published today.

 The report ‘Opportunities for UK business that value and/or protect nature’s services’, was commissioned by the Valuing Nature Network for the Ecosystem Markets Task Force, and looks at the business opportunities arising from the National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA); the UK assessment of the state of the UK’s ecosystems, the services they provide, and the value of these services. 

 A diverse team of environmental economists, plus specialists in environmental technology, product markets, offsetting and sustainability, were brought together by lead consultant Guy Duke to analyse the evidence presented by the NEA, and carry out a consultation and stakeholder workshop to gather a wide range of views on business opportunities.

 The report outlines the business case for valuing and protecting nature’s services.  It highlights a series of drivers that are leading businesses to increasingly consider and manage impacts on ecosystems and to look for business opportunities while they do so. 

 The report identified eight key types of opportunities available to businesses, from financial and legal services to product markets and environmental technologies.  From 40 opportunities, drawn from reviewing the NEA and stakeholder’s ideas, the team have pulled out a preliminary list of 12 top opportunities which they say show real promise.

 The findings will support the Task Force’s work on opportunities for UK businesses from valuing and protecting nature. To find out more details on the 12 opportunities, and to read more about this initiative, follow the links below:

Opportunities for UK Business That Value and/or Protect Nature’s Services: Final Report

Final Report – Attachment 1: Elaboration of Proposals for Potential Business Opportunities

Non-technical summary

This report is the first from the Task Force’s evidence gathering phase.  The Task Force expects to publish more of its work, including the summary of the consultation on business opportunities, over the next few months.



  1. The final report of the ‘Review of UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) evidence to assess scope for business-related ecosystem market opportunities in the UK and tools for business sector uptake’ project is published today.
  2. This study was commissioned for the Ecosystem Markets Task Force (EMTF) by the Valuing Nature Network (VNN), financed by the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).


Contact details


Defra Ecosystem Markets Task Force Secretariat:


Tel: 0207 238 1266


Guy Duke

Independent Consultant, Ecosystem services markets, policy, research and knowledge exchange


Mobile:  +32 475 395512




The Ecosystem Markets Task Force (EMTF) is a business-led, independent, Task Force bringing together industry leaders and experts from a wide range of sectors, ranging from banking and biodiversity conservation to beauty, to look for ways in which companies can improve both the environment and their bottom line.

The Valuing Nature Network (VNN) brings together natural scientists and economists, alongside decision-makers in business and policy, who have an interest in valuing nature.

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is the UK’s main agency for funding and managing world-class research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. It coordinates some of the world’s most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on earth, and much more. NERC receives around £300m a year from the government’s science budget, which it uses to fund independent research and training in universities and its own research centres.

Page published: 27 June 2012