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Biodiversity and ecosystem services in supply chain management in the global forest industry

Lähtinen, Katja, Guan, Yucong, Li, Ning, Toppinen, Anne
Ecosystem services 2016 v.21 pp. 130-140
biodiversity, business enterprises, business management, corporations, ecosystem services, environmental performance, forest industries, guidelines, monitoring, risk, stakeholders, supply chain
Recognizing business risks and opportunities associated with biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) has triggered a need for identifying, measuring, monitoring and developing business management on these issues to meet stakeholder needs. The extractive industries with direct impacts and dependence on BES are particularly apt to encounter stakeholder pressures for profound corporate responsibility (CR) reporting. In our study, we investigate how global forest industry companies address BES in supply chain management through CR reporting practices in reference to 30 environmental performance indicators (EPIs) of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. The objectives of this study are: to identify the information content of the GRI EPIs for assessing directly or indirectly positive or negative impacts of companies’ operations on BES; to examine the environmental strategies of these companies in relation to BES and supply chain management; and to identify needs and possibilities of indicator development. The material of the study comprises CR reports of thirteen large forest industry companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index analyzed with content analysis. According to the results, companies tend to disclose indirect BES impacts over direct ones, emphasize corporations’ positive achievements over negative consequences, and focus on the supply chain in upstream activities rather than in downstream activities.