The Nature Conservancy

ESII Tool Unveiled!

Yesterday, at the GreenBiz Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, the ESII (Ecosystem Services Identification & Services) Tool was introduced to the world.

The ESII (pronounced “Easy”) Tool is the result of a collaboration between Dow Chemical and The Nature Conservancy. They’ve been working on it since 2011. Our involvement has been in the past year. It’s a project we are very excited and proud to be a part of.

The ESII Tool has the ability to transform the way businesses view the environment. That sounds like a lot of hyperbole, but for the first time ever, there is a comprehensive tool that allows businesses to identify and measure the benefits of nature on the land that they own. Not only does it give businesses the opportunity to see what is currently there, but it gives them a planning tool to play around with alternative scenarios. 

To find out more and to download the free iPad app, go to

Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on the ESII Tool!

What does The Nature Conservancy have in common with Dow Chemical Company?

Surprisingly, more than one might imagine. For one thing, they are both working with The Gartrell Group… and on the same project!
As D.T. Max explores in the New Yorker article “Green is Good,” The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is in the process of adopting a new approach to nudge commercial interests to adopt greener management and operational strategies.

We are very excited to participate in this historic project and to build the software tools described in Max’s article. The tablet-based solution will offer an array of cool capabilities Dow staff may use for identifying, delineating, and monitoring the natural resource “assets” and ecosystem services present on their properties. They will also be able to perform modeling of alternative land uses to assess the impacts of different management strategies.

Designing and developing this solution is bringing together many of the tools and areas of expertise that have been called for in our recent projects.


mobileGISThe solution will primarily be used by people working in the field, so it will be aimed at mobile users. The first iteration of the tool will be built on iOS for use on iPads.

Disconnected Editing

Field work usually involves being in remote areas with little-to-no connectivity. This solution, like others that we’ve worked on recently, will allow users to make edits while in the field. Those edits will be loaded onto the cloud as soon as the device is connected to either a cell connection or Wi-Fi.

Cloud Hosting

The data will live in a secure, hosted environment that will ensure that everyone is always working with the mot recent information.

Web Management Tools

Like many of our recent projects that involve mobile users going out into the field, this solution will include a web-based management tool. This tool allows managers to create projects for field workers. These projects include maps and data that are then downloaded to the field worker’s iPad so that they have the most recent data to work with.

Processing Models

A key element to this project is to quantify the impact of different resource management strategies on the ecosystems within which Dow properties are involved. We will be working closely with stakeholders from both Dow and TNC as well as scientists from Ecometrix Solutions Group to develop these tools in the form of data processing models that measure the impacts of different land uses and activities.

This is an exciting collaboration - one that we’d have had a hard time believing could exist twenty years ago. We feel that it is part of a significant shift in the economics of environmentalism and capitalism, one focused on bringing more green to the bottom line.