Research findings about nature-based enterprises

The first results from the Connecting Nature research survey of nature-based enterprises are now available to download here.  We have had over 170 responses to date from nature-based enterprises which we define as follows:

Nature-based enterprises (NBEs) use nature as a core element of their product/service offering.  Nature may be used directly by growing, harnessing, harvesting or restoring natural resources in a sustainable way and/or indirectly by contributing to the planning, delivery or stewardship of sustainable nature-based solutions.

In response to the barriers and enablers identified we will be launching a Connecting Nature Enterprise Platform in October 2020 to connect buyers and suppliers of nature-based solutions.  To register your interest in updates click here.

The survey remains open and we invite responses from nature-based enterprises around the world.

Available to download here

Nature -Based Enterprise Survey

The Connecting Nature survey remains open – the more data we collect the better our understanding of nature-based enterprises. The overall objective of this survey is to better understand what type of business can nature support? And how can business support nature and society? COVID 19 has had a major impact on organisations worldwide and our hope is is that when the crisis has passed, more opportunities will emerge to work with nature in creating new skills, jobs and sustainable local economies. 


Why should a Nature-Based Enterprise complete this survey?

1. To increase knowledge and support for NBEs

  • the different types of  nature-based enterprises that exist;
  • the variety of products and services they deliver;
  • the value they create for the environment, economy and society;
  • the challenges and opportunities NBEs face including COVID 19 and how policy makers can better support them.


2. To create opportunities for NBEs

The Connecting Nature Enterprise Platform  will:

  • increase the visibility of individual NBEs;
  • showcase NBE solutions to the public and private sector;
  • feature tenders and opportunities for funding for NBEs;
  • support collaboration and networking between NBEs;
  • create sector-specific training content and webinars for NBEs.

There are 3 general types of nature-based solutions covering everything from natural rainforests to highly engineered water management systems.  Nature-based enterprises can help to plan, implement and manage these nature-based solutions.

Enterprises that directly or indirectly deliver nature-based solutions may be 'for profit' or 'not-for-profit'. The following table shows the relationship between nature-based solutions and nature-based enterprises and gives examples of nature-based enterprises that deliver different types of NBS, either directly or indirectly.





NBEs ↓

Type 1

Better use of natural/protected ecosystems

E.g. coastal mangrove

Type 2

NBS for sustainable managed ecosystems

E.g. natural urban forest, parks or gardens

Type 3

Design and management of new ecosystems

E.g. engineered green walls/roofs/water management

Direct use of nature:

NBEs often involved in implementation of NBS

Example: Nature Conservation NGO (non-profit)

Natuurpunt (BE)

Example: Constructed wetlands company (for profit)

FH Wetlands Systems Ltd. (IE)

Example: Horticulture company delivering green living rooms (for profit)

Helix Pflanzen GmbH (DE)

Indirect use of nature:

NBEs often involved in planning, advisory, management, monitoring etc

Example: Data company that monitors natural forests (for profit)



Example: Community interest company managing urban parks / gardens (non-profit)

Barking Riverside CIC (UK)

Example: Environmental NGO advising on community engagement in green space redesign (non-profit)

Greenspace Scotland (UK)

Any questions:

If you have any questions about the survey please contact Esmee Kooijman