Can the economy thrive along with the environment? That question is central to the work of the Natural Capital Project co-founder Gretchen Daily, Stanford’s most recent winner of the prestigious Blue Planet Prize.
Daily was invited to share what she and other NatCap researchers have learned during a recent Climate One discussion at the Commonwealth Club entitled “Aligning Profits with the Planet.”
Climate One founder Greg Dalton moderated the discussion, which presented models for symbiotic, rather than antagonistic relationships between business and environmental interests. All three participants observed a shift in the paradigm of environmental regulation as groundwork for sustainable green growth rather than a limitation of growth. They agreed that across the board, business leaders are recognizing that protecting the environment can also be good for business, not just because of the effect on reputation, but also because people and businesses depend critically on benefits from nature that are increasingly at risk, and thus of increasing value, such as security from storms and flooding, crop pollination, and supply of healthy drinking water.
See social media reactions to Daily’s Climate One appearance and Blue Planet Prize win: https://storify.com/StanfordWoods/climate-one-aligning-profits-with-the-planet
Daily, the Bing Professor of Environmental Science in the Department of Biology and a Woods Senior Fellow, emphasized the growing awareness and appreciation of natural capital during the discussion, using her work with Chinese scientists and political leaders as an inspiring example of dramatic change in policy, finance and management. For her outstanding contribution to environmental science that stands at the service of human well-being, Daily was recently awarded the Blue Planet Prize, considered to be the most prestigious distinction for an environmental scientist and amounting to $450,000. Two other Stanford professors have received the Blue Planet Prize in the past: Paul Ehrlich and Harold Mooney. The official award ceremony will take place in Tokyo October 19 2017, where Daily will give a speech along with this year’s other laureate, Hans Schellnhuber.
A podcast of the hour-long conversation between Daily, Adam Davis, managing partner at Ecosystem Investment Partners and Barbara Grady, senior writer for GreenBiz.com, has been posted on the ClimateOne website.