Sustainability 2013, 5(5), 2152-2177; doi:10.3390/su5052152
Concept Paper

A Practical Approach for Demonstrating Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship through a Net Ecosystem Service Analysis

1,* email, 2 and 3
Received: 6 March 2013; in revised form: 26 April 2013 / Accepted: 27 April 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Business: Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainability)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: The increasing pressure on the earth’s resources due to population growth requires that development and resource use be managed to maintain a sustainable environment so as to preserve or enhance human well-being. A practical approach for demonstrating the environmental sustainability of an action (e.g., green business practice) through ecosystem service analysis is presented. The overarching premise of the approach is that human well-being is directly related to changes in ecosystems and associated services. The approach evaluates the net change in ecosystem services, and hence human well-being, and is termed a net ecosystem service analysis (NESA). Using this approach, if a net positive change in ecosystem services relative to the baseline condition occurs for an action, that action would be considered potentially sustainable. In addition, if an action creates net ecosystem service value above the baseline condition, it would be considered to embody environmental stewardship. Established ecological and human use quantification methods are incorporated into the analysis. In addition, to demonstrate potential sustainability, the approach must also consider the need to satisfy intergenerational equity objectives. The use of a practical approach from which private business and government representatives can make decisions regarding environmental sustainability and stewardship will provide for improved decision-making based on quantifiable metrics.
Keywords: environmental sustainability; environmental stewardship; ecosystem services; net ecosystem service analysis; NESA; habitat equivalency analysis; HEA; net environmental benefit analysis; NEBA
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nicolette, J.; Burr, S.; Rockel, M. A Practical Approach for Demonstrating Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship through a Net Ecosystem Service Analysis. Sustainability 2013, 5, 2152-2177.

AMA Style

Nicolette J, Burr S, Rockel M. A Practical Approach for Demonstrating Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship through a Net Ecosystem Service Analysis. Sustainability. 2013; 5(5):2152-2177.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nicolette, Joseph; Burr, Stephanie; Rockel, Mark. 2013. "A Practical Approach for Demonstrating Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship through a Net Ecosystem Service Analysis." Sustainability 5, no. 5: 2152-2177.

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