Water, energy, and ecosystem services : a study of businesses in Oregon's Willamette Valley Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gb19f8703

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  • This study uses interviews with 18 businesses in Oregon's Willamette Valley to explore business investment in the environment, and how this relates to ecosystem services, payment for ecosystem services programs, and the water-energy nexus. Our research led us to outline 5 factors that influence business investment in the environment, those factors being size, the champion effect, organizational culture, industry culture, and the geographic focus of a business. Of these factors, geographic focus is a unique contribution of our study. In addition, our research uses these interviews to explore issues within the water-energy nexus as well as to suggest a new conceptualization of energy as an ecosystem service of watersheds. Our findings suggest that while the size, the champion effect, organizational culture, industry culture, and geographic focus are important differences that distinguish businesses from one another, the water-energy nexus is a concern for many businesses, regardless of type. We anticipate that our results will not only contribute to the body of knowledge on these important issues, but will help guide future research in the areas of ecosystem services, energy, and the private sector.
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