The ecosystem services benchmark: a guidance document

A tool for investors to assess the management of biodiversity and ecosystem services risks and opportunities in companies with an agricultural supply chain. This document describes the Ecosystem Services Benchmark (ESB), drawing examples from its pilot study with six investors and a selection of 31 companies within their portfolios. This document is aimed primarily at asset managers but can also inform the banking and insurance sectors. Using the ESB to assess companies within an investment portfolio will enable investors to identify companies that are proactively managing these risks and opportunities and those that have not yet responded. It has a secondary application for companies within the food, beverage and tobacco sectors for which it provides a strategic framework within which to consider the issue. By using it, companies will learn how to communicate more effectively with investors, gain greater reward for sustainable sourcing and facilitate effective management of an issue of increasing significance.