Recent News » Integrated Landscape Business Case Consultant
Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative
Sub-outcome 3: Business Leaders Incorporate
Integrated Landscape Approaches in their Business Models
Building the business case for participation in integrated landscape management processes
Terms of Reference
August 10, 2012
Overview of assignment: Enumerate the “business case” for when and how participation in integrated landscape management initiatives may help the private sector advance business objectives. Conduct initial scoping of modes and rationale for business engagement, followed by the development of three in-depth case studies and synthesis of principles, lessons, and opportunities for effective business engagement.
In the past several years, global challenges related to food security, persistent poverty, climate change, and ecosystem degradation have risen to the top of international political and economic agendas. In order to feed a world population that is projected to grow more than 30% by 2050—while reducing food insecurity and accommodating dietary changes—experts estimate the need for a 70% increase in food production worldwide by 2050, and nearly 100% greater production in developing countries. Meanwhile food and fiber production continues to compromise biodiversity and ecosystem services at alarming rates. At a global level, agriculture is the chief reason why humanity has already exceeded critical “planetary boundaries” or thresholds related to biodiversity loss and perturbations to the nitrogen cycle.
In response to these global challenges, communities, land managers and other stakeholders around the world have begun adopting integrated landscape management approaches that work deliberately to support food production, ecosystem conservation, and rural livelihoods across entire landscapes. To support the broader and more effective adoption of integrated landscape approaches, a coalition of leading agriculture, environment and rural development organizations has come together to implement the three-year Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative (“the Initiative”) from November 2011 to December 2014.
The primary goal of the Initiative is to promote and support the broader adoption and more effective use of integrated landscape approaches to address the full set of needs from the rural land base, including sustainable, climate-resilient production of food and fiber (from agriculture, forestry, and fisheries), watershed management, biodiversity conservation, bio-energy, terrestrial climate mitigation, and rural livelihoods. The Initiative will do so through three program components: 1) conducting a systematic Global Review of applied research to build the knowledge base for integrated landscape approaches; 2) bringing together diverse organizations and communities of practice already engaged in integrated landscape initiatives for strategic Dialogue and action planning; and 3) implementing an Action and Advocacy Strategy aimed at strengthening and scaling-up the practice of integrated landscape management. One of the six outcomes identified in the Action and Advocacy Strategy involves engagement with the business community to increase the adoption of integrated landscape approaches by business leaders and the private sector.
While sustainability initiatives in agribusiness and the food industry have grown dramatically over the past two decades, much of this work has focused on improving the environmental and social performance of specific farms, forests, and post-harvest operations in corporate supply chains. However, true sustainability often requires a broader focus that includes management beyond the level of individual production units, engaging multiple stakeholders from the public, private, and civic sectors alongside local communities. For instance, watershed health, biodiversity conservation and habitat connectivity, land and resource tenure, and many other factors can strongly influence social, economic, and environmental sustainability. To date, private sector actors have not been widely engaged as partners in landscape management initiatives, and there has been little effort to evaluate the business case for such participation.
Nonetheless, there is a wide range of potential business rationale for corporate engagement in landscape management. These include ensuring sustainable supplies of raw materials and processing inputs, reducing material costs, reducing the cost of regulatory compliance, reducing risk, maintaining or bolstering brand appeal, improving corporate image, and improving community relations. Similarly, some corporate actors have begun to engage in landscape management through ‘entry points’ such as ecosystem service valuation initiatives, payment for ecosystem services, corporate social responsibility, and eco-certification, among others.
Purpose and Intended Use of the Business Case Project
To advance progress and increase private sector interest in integrated landscape initiatives, the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative co-organizers, through the Initiative facilitator EcoAgriculture Partners, are commissioning a review and analysis of the business case for private sector engagement in landscape initiatives.
The purpose of this work is to survey and analyze existing types, rationale, and outcomes of business engagement in landscape initiatives, and to use this information to derive guidance for business leaders and others for effective participation in landscape management activities that simultaneously increase profitability and sustainability.
The primary audience for the products generated by this project is business managers and decision makers, such as corporate sustainability officers, supply chain managers, forecasters, and others. Secondary audiences for these products include landscape managers from public and civic sectors as well as students in business schools (e.g., sustainability-oriented MBA programs) and mid-career business training courses. Outputs from this project will subsequently be incorporated into outreach, training, and program development materials for these groups.
Scope of Work
- The project will consist of the following seven activities. The work will be guided by EcoAgriculture Partners and by a Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) of business leaders and experts consisting of Initiative co-organizers and partners. SAC members will be asked to provide written feedback and guidance on draft documents, and to assist the consultant in attaining access to key stakeholders and information to inform the preparation of the documents.
- Conduct initial scoping of private sector engagement in integrated landscape initiatives and in sustainability initiatives that have a high potential to be built upon or scaled up to landscape level. Conduct key informant interviews to identify relevant initiatives and companies, and prepare an inventory and brief analysis of these, identifying the modes and rationale for business engagement in each instance. Associated deliverable: a draft report (approx. 8-12 pages) of scoping results.
- Work with EcoAgriculture Partners and the SAC to select from the candidate examples a set of three cases for which to develop full case studies. It is expected that the selected set of cases will represent examples involving both international and national companies; will span a range of sustainability issues such as biodiversity, water, and climate change; will represent diversity in geographic and cultural contexts; and will include a range of core business rationale including ensuring continued raw material supplies, mitigating risk, enhancing brand reputation, and addressing regulatory requirements.
- Work with EcoAgriculture Partners and the SAC to develop an analytical framework for the case studies. This framework will specify the topics on which information will be collected, as well as the methods for information collection and analysis. Preliminarily, we expect that the framework will include assessment of the financial and economic rationale for business engagement; characterization of the ways in which ecosystem services and other landscape functions were assessed, valued, or incorporated into decision-making; interviews to understand stakeholder motivations, roles and actions; an analysis of the underlying enabling environment for each case (e.g., policy and structural conditions); and an assessment of the ways in which participation in an integrated landscape approach contributed to sustainability and supply chain management objectives.
- Conduct data collection (interviews, document review, etc.) for each of the cases according to the agreed upon analytical framework. To facilitate data collection on case examples located far from the consultant’s place of work, the consultant should plan to work with a local research partner or key informant for up to two of the three cases. Funding for such work, if needed, would be provided separately by EcoAgriculture Partners; however, the consultant should anticipate managing such work.
- Prepare one written case study for each of the three case examples. The case studies should include introductory material explaining the challenge or issue faced by the company; enumerate the company’s engagement in the landscape initiative; discuss key outcomes, successes, and challenges; and derive key principles and conclusions for broader consideration for businesses to engage in landscape-scale action. Associated deliverable: three draft business cases of approximately 8-12 pages each, with supporting graphics as appropriate.
- Prepare a synthesis document that incorporates findings from the scoping review and the case studies to describe principles, lessons, and opportunities for effective business engagement in landscape-scale action. The document should address questions such as: When are landscapes approaches beneficial for business objectives? How can landscape approaches complement and build on existing sustainability initiatives to achieve greater impact? What is needed from the landscape management process to make it easier and more attractive for private companies to become and stay engaged? What are the appropriate roles for private, public and civic sectors in establishing a successful partnership? And, how can stakeholders work together to strengthen and scale up existing landscape initiatives and create new partnerships at scales that are meaningful? Associated deliverable: draft synthesis document of approximately 12-16 pages, with supporting graphics as appropriate.
- Revise and finalize all of the above draft documents based on feedback from EcoAgriculture Partners, the SAC, and possibly external reviewers. Associated deliverable: final versions of all above documents.
EcoAgriculture Partners will serve as the approving agency for all final outputs and will be in charge of coordinating and working with the consultant to achieve the desired results within the proposed timeline.
The review will be conducted between September 2012 and December 2012. Below is an approximate project timeline.
August 10 Terms of Reference Issued
August 31 Proposals due
September 3 Consultant selected
September 10 Review Terms of Reference with EcoAgriculture Partners and initiate project
October 1 Deliver business case scoping document for review
October 8 Deliver analytical framework
Oct and Nov Conduct research and draft case studies
November 21 Deliver draft business case studies for review
November 30 Deliver draft synthesis document
December 20 Revise, finalize and deliver all documents (i.e.. scoping paper, three case studies and synthesis) based on feedback from EcoAgriculture Partners, the SAC, and possibly external reviewers
Approximately $25,000 to $30,000 is available to support the consultant’s efforts on this project, including all labor and project expenses. Consultants bidding on this assignment are requested to submit an itemized budget that proposes to complete the Scope of Work in a cost-effective manner.
Consultant Selection Process
Contractors interested in bidding on this assignment should submit a proposal via e-mail, mail or courier delivery, no later than 9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (1:00 pm GMT) on Friday, August 31, 2012, to:
Attn: Lee Gross
1100 17th St. NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- A brief statement of project approach and concurrence with the Scope of Work and timeline stated above
- A summary of team qualifications, including prior experience conducting assessments of business sustainability initiatives and/or preparing business case studies
- Budget, indicating the total fixed-fee price to complete the Scope of Work, as well as a budget breakdown indicating the anticipated level of effort (person-days) per task, daily rates for all personnel, total personnel costs, and any expenses itemized by category
- CVs of team members, up to 3 pages each
- Two work samples relevant to this assignment
Posted By Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative at 4:02pm on 31 August 2012