The inclusion of biodiversity into Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework: A strategic integration of ecocentric extinction accounting

Helen Kopnina*, Scarlett Ruopiao Zhang, Sam Anthony, Abeer Hassan, Warren Maroun

*Corresponding author for this work

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Traditional Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics have primarily focused on promoting sustainable finance, positive screening, and sustainability reporting. However, recent research highlights the urgency for greater accountability and action to counter species extinction. This article explores the potential of ESG frameworks in guiding corporate and managerial decision-making to address biodiversity loss. As the current ESG indicators exhibit an anthropocentric bias, limiting their effectiveness for protecting biodiversity, this article aims to strategically integrate pragmatic extinction accounting with an ecocentric (deep ecology) perspective. This perspective addresses the root causes of biodiversity loss and offers support to species that are perceived as economically, socially, or culturally unimportant. We present our findings as a call to all stakeholders—business and policy decision-makers, conservationists, and environmental organizations—to formulate robust, inclusive, and ecologically sensitive strategies incorporating deep ecological perspectives. The findings of this study include recommendations for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This study provides an important contribution to stakeholder theory that supports non-human stakeholders. Besides, this paper showcases how the improved ESG framework could empower companies to confront extinction risks in a more proactive and accelerated manner.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119808
Pages (from-to)119808
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date15 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

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