How businesses help restore natural infrastructure

By Dana Kobilinsky

Thomas Moorman, the chief scientist at Ducks Unlimited will be one of the speakers at Caterpillar’s keynote on how businesses can help restore natural infrastructure. Image courtesy of Thomas Moorman.

On the surface, it may seem like a corporate business such as Caterpillar, Inc., which supplies customers with construction equipment, doesn’t have much to do with sustainability or supporting nature.

Kathryn Spitznagle

But at a keynote during the upcoming annual TWS conference in Albuquerque, N.M., Kathryn Spitznagle, the director of global sustainability with Caterpillar, will discuss the importance of the company’s sustainability efforts and why this is important to its business design.

At the keynote session, Spitznagle will facilitate a discussion about how businesses can help restore natural infrastructure — networks of forest, wetlands and other habitats that can be strategically planned and managed to maintain the function of the ecosystem. These projects aren’t just good for the environment, Spitznalge said. They can also lead to important business relationships with businesses and organizations.

Lynn Scarlett

Two other speakers will join Spitznagle during the keynote: Lynn Scarlett, a worldwide managing director for public policy at The Nature Conservancy and global climate strategy lead, and Thomas Moorman, chief scientist at Ducks Unlimited.

The speakers will discuss their operations’ current and future restoration projects. Other topics include barriers that prevent restoration projects from happening; how businesses can frame an economic case for their business to support natural infrastructure; how to unlock the creativity of individuals, communities and corporations and how to attract capital at an appropriate scale.

After attending the keynote, attendees will walk away with a better understanding of not only the importance of including the private sector in restoring natural infrastructure. They may also come away with a few ideas on how to foster collaborations with businesses.

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is a science writer at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at dkobilinsky@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

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