New Report: Sustainable Business Using the Landscape Approach

The business case for a landscape approach

The WWF’s Landscape Sourcing Report: Sustainable Business Using the Landscape Approach makes a case for the private sector to adopt landscape approaches to sustainably strengthen and increase cost effectiveness within their supply chains.

Due to climate change and other environmental crises,  the private sector is facing a number of issues that threaten the reliability and health of their supply chains. These risks include resource depletion, increased unreliability of water flows needed for farming and other industries,  and social issues such as labour rights and the health and integrity of indigenous communities.

Many company leaders now acknowledge that sustainability is not only good for the planet, but also good for their bottom line. Adopting a landscape approach as many companies have chosen to do  is an attractive entry point into the circular economy and can both help address environmental concerns while still maintaining company profitability. 

What are landscape approaches and landscape sourcing?

The landscape approach is a conceptual framework whereby stakeholders in a landscape aim to reconcile competing social, economic and environmental objectives. In practice, the landscape approach helps provide tools to manage land sustainably in areas where human activity competes with environmental and biodiversity goals. Adopting a landscape approach results in a sustainable landscape, satisfying the needs of the many actors dependent on and with vested interest in that landscape- communities, local organizations, private sector, and the government. 

Landscape sourcing is a methodology for product sourcing that contributes positively to the goals of a sustainable landscape through product certification which  identifies commodities  that are produced and grown using sustainable landscape management. 

Benefits of adopting a landscape approach

When companies commit to a landscape approach, they invest in people and land, communities and biodiversity. This commitment also means working to achieve a shared understanding of the conditions, challenges and opportunities in a given landscape with multiple stakeholders agreeing to a common vision and goals. 

There are many tangible benefits for a company to invest in and build a landscape approach, including:

  • Reducing operating costs 
  • Giving themselves a competitive advantage in fast-developing markets
  • Building a wider client base
  • Securing the long-term viability of the business
  • Strengthening reputation
  • Attracting the best talent
  • Supporting business innovation

The authors hosted  a full introduction and Q&A session on 22 October 2020

Co-authors Nigel Dudley and Marianne Smallwood shared a brief introduction on how adopting a landscape approach is an attractive entry point into the circular economy and can both help address environmental concerns while still maintaining company profitability.


WWF, Landscape Finance Lab
Sustainable Sourcing
Knowledge Sharing
Business tools

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