Implications for CorporationsThe USEPA has developed the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System (FEGS-CS) as a step towards providing a framework and common language for evaluating ecosystem goods and services. It is a research document not associated with a particular regulatory program and so does not currently represent an official standard.

However, in areas such as ecological and human health risk assessments, these types of USEPA documents have steered the direction of future regulatory actions. The FEGS-CS could become the de facto standard for classifying and ultimately valuing ecosystem services and natural capital. For example, the USEPA Offices of Water and of Air and Radiation are considering using the FEGS-CS in their cost-benefit analyses.

Given the potential for the FEGS-CS to be applied in a variety of regulatory contexts as the standard for ecosystem valuation, corporations should understand the system and its potential uses, limitations, and reach.

This white paper provides a brief summary of the proposed USEPA FEGS-CS and describes the pros and cons it poses for corporations.