Why is this important?

Every company uses natural resources, regardless of whether it manufactures products or creates services. Which resources are used, and to what extent, varies greatly depending on the industry. Being conscious of which resources your company uses can offer you an entirely new outlook on your business activities and on the opportunities available to you to contribute to sustainable development. For example, supermarkets occupy considerable space, so some have now begun to grass their roofs in order to boost local biodiversity.

What do the terms mean?

The term resources encompasses the materials used in or for corporate processes (e.g. fuels and land) and so-called ecosystem services. These services are rendered by natural systems and are used by companies, e.g. groundwater as part of a cooling system or insects that pollinate fruit plantations.

What needs to be borne in mind?

This criterion focuses on the use of natural resources throughout a company’s business operations and also during the life cycles of products and services. How these findings are then applied is covered by criterion 12. Here, you should consider your use of materials, space and energy, your use of water, land and air and the pollution you cause with emissions and waste. Service providers should likewise determine which parts of their business operations are especially resource-intensive because energy consumption in offices is by no means negligible due to extensive technology and air conditioning equipment. The topic of resources also extends to the maintenance of biodiversity and the influence that companies have on biodiversity. This might be in the extraction or cultivation of the raw materials they need or in their use of land – an issue in particular for the real estate and petroleum industries, for instance.


Give a qualitative account of which natural resources your company primarily uses in its business activities or are affected by its activities.


Using the appropriate units of measurement in each case, state the amount of the natural resources which are material to your business operations that your company uses. You can rank the most important resources here.