Every year, bees contribute over £106.2 billion to the global economy; coral over £6.1 trillion; plankton over £138.7 billion and beavers almost £500 million. These figures were released today by BBC Earth in a pilot model for an Earth Index that demonstrates the financial contribution that nature makes to the world economy every year.
BBC Earth published the Earth Index in the financial sections of the Wall Street Journal (US); Times (London); Singapore Business Times (Singapore) and the Economic Times (India) putting nature on the stock exchange for the first time.
Neil Nightingale, Creative Director for BBC Earth commented: “When you see the figures in black and white it’s illuminating to see that the annual revenues of the world’s most successful companies, Apple; General Motors; Nestle; Bank of China* all pale in comparison to the financial return to our economy from natural assets.”
The Earth Index was devised to place nature at the heart of economic conversation by understanding the financial value of the services we receive each year from natural resources. To create the Earth Index, BBC Earth worked with British environmental specialist Tony Juniper to commission a scoping study from the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
BBC Earth’s ‘nature stock exchange’ is based on a study of the existing available data and the Earth Index pilots a model for reporting the financial contribution that nature makes to the global economy.
To accompany the Earth Index, BBC Earth has created ‘Cost the Earth’, an interactive feature that challenges people to guess the value of global companies such as Starbucks compared to natural assets such as Otters or commodities such as Diamonds.