Monday 24th October 2016                 Change text size:

Leading businesses commence testing of a new Natural Capital Protocol

Natural Capital Association

Over 40 businesses will be the first to see the new draft today of the Natural Capital Protocol, being developed by the Natural Capital Coalition.  The testing will be led by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), a member of the Coalition.

The Natural Capital Coalition is a global platform which brings together the different initiatives and organisations working in natural capital under a common vision of a world where business conserves and enhances natural capital.

The companies will join an already extensive group of organisations in this unique collaborative process, which involves the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), leading a consortium on the writing of the Protocol, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), leading a consortium on the engagement process. The final Protocol will enable companies to improve their decision making by standardising how their relationship with nature is measured and valued.

Ten businesses will be testing the Protocol in depth, including The Coca-Cola Company, The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Hugo Boss, Kering, Natura, Nespresso, Nestlé, Olam International and Shell. Each will test the Protocol against specific business applications, including: assessing water use opportunities and risks in site specific locations (Dow Chemical); identifying the drivers of environmental impacts along the supply chain to inform raw material procurement strategies (Hugo Boss); investigating how natural capital assessments can potentially enhance the management and reporting of environmental issues (F. Hoffmann-La Roche); and exploring how to bring Natural Capital assessment results into strategic business decisions (Kering).

More than 30 additional businesses are testing specific aspects of the Protocol, including a range of different geographies and sectors meaning over 40 businesses in total are contributing to the development of the Protocol.

This first-of-its-kind programme is designed for businesses to live-test, refine and influence the final Protocol to ensure it is robust, practical and relevant to the entire private sector.

Neil Hawkins, Dow corporate vice president, EH&S, and chief sustainability officer, said:  “As part of our 2025 Sustainability Goals, Dow seeks to better incorporate the value of nature into business decisions and deliver projects that are good for business and good for ecosystems. We are proud to help pilot the Natural Capital Protocol as part of our efforts.”

Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of international institutional affairs at Kering said: “We are pleased to contribute our Environmental Profit and Loss methodology and our experience in embedding natural capital accounting into our business for the development of a broadly adopted Protocol. The pragmatic work we are doing together to standardize and scale the Protocol is critical to the future protection and maintenance of natural capital and biodiversity. ”

Chris Brett, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Olam International, said: “Along with our partners at the Natural Capital Coalition, we believe that the only way to change behaviours for a sustainable future is to place monetary value on Nature’s assets. However, the Protocol won’t work unless it can be implemented consistently and effectively across industries, regions and sectors in the ‘real world’, so we are glad to be one of the pilot private sector partners testing it in our global agribusiness operations.”

The Natural Capital Protocol will bring together the many approaches to natural capital under one standardized framework. The final global Protocol and supporting guidance will be published on 6 July 2016.

Mark Gough, Executive Director of the Natural Capital Coalition, said: “These companies are at the forefront of a process that will change the way business relates to nature. Their contribution to the collaborative approach is essential to make sure the Protocol is practical and will help improve decision making”

Polly Courtice, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, said: “This is a significant and vital stage in the Natural Capital Protocol, which will provide us with invaluable insight to help steer the content of the final protocol.  The involvement of business users from an early stage has always been essential to ensure the final outcome becomes a commonly used product in the market.”

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The Natural Capital Protocol is a product of the Natural Capital Coalition. The Natural Capital Coalition has brought together – through two consortia led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – the world’s leading institutions from business, accountancy, consultancy, financial institutions and NGOs to develop the Natural Capital Protocol, to develop two sector guides on Food and Apparel, and to engage business in the development and testing of the Protocol.

These institutions are: Accenture, ACTS, ARCADIS, The B Team, Carbon Disclosure Standards Board, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Conservation International, Deloitte, eCountability, eftec, ERM, EY, FAO, GIST Advisory, IERS, Imperial College London, Integrated Sustainability Services, Natural Capital Project, The Nature Conservancy, The Sustainable Fashion Academy, PwC, Sustain Value, Synergiz, Trucost, True Price, Vital Metrics, World Resources Institute and WWF. Work on the Natural Capital Protocol Project has been made possible with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the International Finance Corporation.

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