Environmental damage costs society enormous amounts of money - and often leaves future generations to foot the bill.
For many years now, this question has been the focus of several global companies and researchers at the Swedish Life Cycle Center, a competence centre hosted by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
For as long as 30 years, they have been using the so-called 'EPS tool ' to place a monetary value on environmental damage.
But by translating environmental issues into a monetary value, it becomes much easier to present the whole picture to an organisation and influence their strategic decisions."
In a few years, when users can routinely assess the total environmental damage cost for a given investment, supplier, product design and so on, environmental issues can occupy a more central place in the boardroom.
Emma Ringström, Sustainability Manager at Nouryon, says that monetary valuation has given the company much valuable insight.