Eco-Sustainability & Ecological Services Assessment
Exponent’s ecologists and resource economists provide companies and government agencies with strategic support on implementing strategies for identifying, accounting for, and sustaining ecological assets. Corporations are looking for sustainable ways in which they can maintain profitable business operations and minimize their environmental footprints. One important aspect of a firm’s environmental footprint is the effect of operations on ecological services. Ecological services are natural processes that provide environmental benefits or benefits to humans, such as groundwater recharge, potable water, and wildlife habitat.
Conventional practices such as mitigation and restoration can be costly to companies, but these costs can be partially or wholly offset by monetized credits traded in markets and good will. The credit market works on the basic economic laws of supply and demand and companies that earn credits can sell them to generate revenue. Credit markets include the carbon market and lesser-known banks such as wetland, water quality, biodiversity, and habitat banks. Companies that are faced with the decision to develop land or expand operations should consider ecological services as a potentially marketable asset.
Although restoration and mitigation efforts are sometimes required by regulatory agencies, these efforts can be optimized to provide the greatest value in credit markets and other intangible benefits, such as having greater flexibility in business operations. Exponent consultants are highly experienced in the areas of ecology, toxicology, chemistry, restoration, GIS, remote sensing, and resource economics, and provide a range of services including:
- Assessing land holdings for existing and potential ecological services
- Evaluating ecological implications of business operations, expansion, and land development
- Conducting ecological assessments to evaluate chemicals and other risks to potential ecological services credit development
- Developing cost effective restoration and mitigation projects that maximize returns in the form of credits
- Identifying credit markets and banks where credits can be traded
- Providing technical review and support during the development of credits
- Providing technical review and support during negotiations with credit-granting entities.