Monday, November 25, 2013
BUSINESS, FINANCE, ACCOUNTANTS AND IFC PARTNER WITH THE TEEB FOR BUSINESS COALITION TO DEVELOP THE NATURAL CAPITAL PROTOCOL
Milestone project announced at the Responsible Business Forum to develop a harmonised framework for valuing natural capital in business and investor decision making
25 November, 2013 Washington, DC and Singapore - TEEB for Business Coalition, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Coalition members today announced the launch of a landmark project to develop and pilot test a harmonised framework for valuing natural capital in business decision making e.g. supply chain management, financial accounting, corporate reporting and disclosure Businesses and investors are encouraged to participate in this milestone project. The focus will be particularly on business sectors and supply chains with high natural capital impacts including agricultural commodities, forestry, fisheries, energy, mining, construction and consumer goods. Two sector guides for agricultural commodities used in food/beverage and consumer goods e.g. apparel will also be developed.
The project will build on existing methods, fill the gaps and enable a period of experimentation in the market via different sectors and geographies. This will enable lessons to be learned and a practical, scalable approach for business to be developed. It is anticipated that the resulting framework would be the precursor to future standards. Seed funding for the project is provided by IFC. TEEB for Business Coalition is the IFC partner to deliver the project.
According to Dr. Dorothy Maxwell, Executive Director of TEEB for Business Coalition, “For businesses to be viable in the long term the ecosystems and resources they depend on must be maintained, yet when it comes to the natural environment the world is seeing a rapid depletion of capital. She explains, “Economic invisibility has been a major reason for the neglect of natural capital. The current business model creates significant environmental externalities that are not priced such as damages from climate change, pollution, land conversion and depletion of natural resources. As a result, there is a growing case for understanding the dependencies business has on natural capital, the risks and opportunities associated with this relationship and their real value.”
Usha Rao-Monari, Director of the Sustainable Business Advisory at IFC states, “The private sector is increasingly taking notice of the key role sound natural capital management can play in the nexus of business, development, and the environment.” She adds that “IFC supports the development of a natural capital protocol as it will allow, not only to convene different parties, but also coordinate fragmented efforts and pave the way for a win-win for all.”
Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Board member of the TEEB for Business Coalition states, “Integrating natural capital in business decision making leads to better business decisions with the benefits of greater resilience, improved security of supply and ultimately a sustainable business model. Valuing natural capital specifically can improve business decisions on risk management, supply chain sourcing decisions, new markets and investments.”
Robert Hodgkinson, Director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) and Chairman of the TEEB for Business Coalition comments, “The concept of capital maintenance is central to business activity and the discipline of accountancy. It answers the question: do we create or destroy value? Our world is now reaching environmental limits and so we must build nature into our business thinking, as another form of capital. This Coalition is looking at how we evaluate and measure the impacts we have on natural capital as a step towards a world living within its environmental means. We hope that we can put in the main stream of business thinking the consideration, evaluation and measurement of natural capital impacts. This is the vision we are aiming for.”
For further information and to sign up to participate in the project see http://www.teebforbusiness.org/how/natural-capital-protocol.html
The project was launched at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development , organised by Global Initiatives and held in partnership with TEEB for Business Coalition, WBCSD, Eco-Business.com and WWF. This brought together global sustainability leaders and experts from companies and organisations including WBCSD, Unilever, Levis, IFC, World Bank, The Sustainability Consortium, The Corporate Eco Forum, The Nature Conservancy, Ministry of Environment & Water Resources, ABB, Veolia Water, Autodesk, FMO Development Bank, National Australia Bank, Cargill, DNV, Aviva, Ricoh, The Forest Stewardship Council, City Developments, Monsanto, International Integrated Reporting Council, Global Reporting Initiative, The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project , Ernst & Young and professional accounting bodies Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and CPA Australia, UNEP-FI, Conservation International, Aecom, Wilmar, BSR, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Trucost, Carbon Disclosure Project and many more. More than 500 delegates will discuss and propose recommendations to increase sustainability across six sectors - agriculture & forestry, palm oil, consumer goods, financial services, building & urban infrastructure and energy.
Charlotte Masiello-Riome, Senior Communications Strategy Advisor, TEEB for Business Coalition:
Emmy Markoglou, Communications Officer, IFC:
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About TEEB for Business Coalition
The TEEB for Business Coalition was established in November 2012 as a global, multi stakeholder platform to build the business case and support the uptake of natural capital valuation, management and disclosure in business and investor decision making. The ultimate goal of the TEEB for Business Coalition is to achieve a shift in corporate behaviour to preserve and enhance rather than deplete our natural and social capital. The Coalition builds on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) initiative, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme which provides a compelling economic case for the conservation of natural capital. The Collation works with key stakeholders from business, government and civil society in order to raise awareness and provide a leading edge forum to shape the future of business thinking and action on valuing natural capital. The Coalition has already commissioned a number of business focused research studies highlighting the business motivations and priority sectors posing the greatest natural capital risks and opportunities to business and investors. The Coalition members include World Business Council for Sustainable Development, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, FMO ( Dutch development bank), Kingfisher Group, Ernst and Young, Deloitte, Carbon Disclosure Project, Business for Social Responsibility, Corporate Eco Forum, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), WWF, the Global Reporting Initiative, UNEP Finance Initiative Natural Capital Declaration, Global Initiatives and others. For a full list of members, visit www.teebforbusiness.org.
About the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO (Switzerland)
SECO is the federal government's centre of expertise for all core issues relating to economic policy. Its aim is to ensure sustainable economic growth by putting in place the necessary regulatory and economic policy conditions. Within the framework of economic cooperation and development, SECO is supporting two complementary initiatives of the World Bank and IFC over a three-year period. The focus is on recognising the value of natural re-sources and taking this into account in both public-sector and private-sector decisions. For more information, visit www.seco.admin.ch/?lang=en.
About Responsible Business Forum
Responsible Business Forum is a global series of interactive events where industry leaders and experts offer practical ways to accelerate solutions for a more sustainable world. Food security, poverty and environmental sustainability are among the many global challenges discussed. Leading companies and visionaries share innovative approaches to solving these problems with a focus on higher-level collaboration, growth and commitment to action. For more information, visit www.responsiblebusiness.com.