Example: Elegant Furniture's biodiversity offering

This example is taken from: Haas, T. C. (2022), ``Profitable Biodiversity,'' to appear in Cogent Social Sciences. Reference

Say that a furniture manufacturing firm has decided to help conserve the rhino population in KNP and to this end, has developed a simulator of the political-ecological system surrounding the poaching of these animals. Call this firm, ``Elegant Furniture.'' This firm decides that a project that is suited to their expertise is to run an ICO consisting of two furniture manufacturing facilities in Johannesburg, South Africa -- purposely far from KNP and within the largest city in South Africa. Elegant Furniture plans to attach this project to a biodiversity offering that consists of a line of eco-furniture. A manufacturing network would emerge around these two facilities consisting of component suppliers, service providers, trade schools, and exporters.

Elegant Furniture would hire only relocated rural residents. In order to make the move from the KNP area to Johannesburg feasible, Elegant Furniture would pay 50% of the relocated rural resident's housing costs for the duration of their employment with the firm. Such housing subsides would be funded by revenue from the biodiversity premium. To make such a restrictive hiring policy legal, the liaison consultancy hired by Elegant Furniture would work with the South African government to designate rural residents as a special protected group that are granted priority hiring within Gauteng province under South African labor laws. In addition, Elegant Furniture would encourage suppliers to hire relocated rural residents by making their bid price for supplies a positive function of the supplier's percentage of employees who are relocated rural residents. Again, the costs of this supplier incentive program would be paid for with biodiversity premium revenue.

With this new manufacturing network, there are now two business networks attempting to recruit new employees from the same rural resident population. The first is a trafficker engaged in the business of illegally harvesting rhino horn for the traditional medicine market in Southeast Asia. This conglomerate seeks to hire rural residents to join poaching parties, become couriers, or become middlemen. The second is the manufacturing network located in Johannesburg.

The biodiversity benefit of the manufacturing network is a drop in poaching due to a draw-down of the rural resident population. Those relocated rural residents now working in this Johannesburg manufacturing network, however, have no less desire to gain quick cash from rhino poaching. And, they also continue to feel anger about their expulsion from their rightful lands and the denial of their right to harvest animals there. But now, these people find it more difficult financially and time-wise to travel back to KNP to poach rhinos. Further, their day-to-day economic needs are largely satisfied by their new jobs in the manufacturing network.

Although Elegant Furniture can only directly control employment and wages of their ICO, because of the supplier incentive program, increasing the number of biodiversity-concerned buyers causes a cascade of relocated rural resident employment along the network's chain of businesses outside of the ICO. This happens because as the number of buyers grows, suppliers receive more orders from Elegant Furniture's two in-country manufacturing facilities.