Valuing Natural Capital Initiative
Changing the C-Level Conversation About Nature
Leading companies are now achieving bottom-line impacts by valuing natural capital – and they are sharing their strategies for success. The Valuing Natural Capital (VNC) Initiative is an open and collaborative platform to demonstrate the business value of nature, galvanize urgently-needed action, and drive increasing levels of investment in natural infrastructure worldwide. It supports business efforts to better integrate the value of natural capital into their strategy, operations, accounting and reporting by offering access to best practice examples, guidance and tools, as well as connections to experts and potential partners from both the corporate and NGO community.
Founded by 24 pioneering companies in 2011, the Initiative showcases the leadership of companies that are getting out in front of these challenges, and aggregates their impacts – from minimizing risks and cutting costs, to enhancing brand and identifying new avenues for revenue and growth. Taken together, these leadership examples point to practical, achievable and meaningful actions for protecting corporate interests and conserving natural ecosystems, through steps such as managing water and land against drought, protecting supply chains from deforestation, and enforcing sustainable fishing practices.
Why Focus on the Business Value of Natural Capital?
Nature provides trillions of dollars worth of inputs and services annually that are vital to long-term business success and global economic growth. As threats to the world’s critical ecosystems multiply, so too do business risks. Two-thirds of our planet’s land and water ecosystems are now significantly degraded due to human activity, and climate change is accelerating the damage. In a 2013 report, Trucost estimates that the world’s primary production sectors (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining, oil and gas exploration, utilities) and primary processing sectors (cement, steel, pulp and paper, petrochemicals) have environmental costs totaling US$7.3 trillion – 13% of global economic output – through effects like contamination of water supplies, loss of fertile land to soil erosion and drought, and supply chain disruptions from deforestation and overfishing. Unless things change dramatically, these costs could skyrocket to $28 trillion by 2050 — a figure that would eclipse the economic damage expected from climate disruption.
“The promise [at Rio +20] made by the twenty-four major companies assembled by The Nature Conservancy and CEF to “demonstrate the business imperative of valuing nature” around developing means to measure and account for natural capital may, in time, prove to be [among] the most transformational events of the summit.” — Mark Lee, the Executive Director of SustainAbility
Join the Natural Capital Business Hub to Showcase Your Leadership, and Connect with Evidence, Expertise and Partners
To catalyze truly transformational change, the VNC Initiative has expanded its circle of powerful global companies and is now open to business leaders from around the world who are addressing natural capital as a core business issue. Participants gain access to a prominent platform to collaborate, demonstrate leadership, and inform emerging methodologies, standards and metrics.
Building on the success of The New Business Imperative-Valuing Natural Capital e-report, the Initiative launched the “Natural Capital Business Hub,” a collaborative, open and dynamic online platform that aims to help diverse companies at varying stages of maturity on natural capital issues to:
- Evaluate and make the internal business case for action
- Benchmark against other companies and evolving best practices
- Learn from curated company case studies
- Choose appropriate action targets, frameworks, and tools to incorporate into their internal decision making
- Identify high impact partners and projects for collaboration and collective action
- Find peers to obtain or offer help and advice
The Business Hub will enable greater “followership” throughout the business community, aggregate impacts of projects that are underway, and help light a way forward for scalable restoration and protection of natural systems that are vital to sustainable business and economic success.
The Hub is a collaborative project incubated by CEF and The Nature Conservancy, and supported by the Natural Capital Coalition (formerly the TEEB for Business Coalition), in consultation with a vast array of business and NGO leaders. Tata Consultancy Services provided in-kind technical and analytical support to build the Hub, which launched in February 2014 in connection with the GreenBiz Forum in Phoenix, AZ. With attendance by senior executives from many leading and influential companies, GreenBiz provided a high-profile platform to evidence natural capital leadership, synergies and collaboration.
Feature Your Company’s Leadership on the Natural Capital Business Hub
As we build and disseminate the Hub, we are seeking company driven projects to help advance the business case for better ecosystem management, with a focus on innovative initiatives to reduce supply chain and operational risks, cut business costs, enhance brand reputation, and fuel revenue growth.
All companies, within and outside the CEF membership, are welcome to submit projects and initiatives for featuring on the Hub. Multi-stakeholder projects that are seeking additional partners will receive special focus, in an effort to support increased collaboration and engagement.
We are seeking a range of company driven projects to be featured, with a variety of scopes and approaches. Ideal initiatives should advance the business case for better ecosystem management (biodiversity, forests, freshwater, oceans, air and land), with a focus on innovative initiatives to reduce supply chain and operational risks, cut business costs, enhance brand reputation, and fuel revenue growth.
Contact CEF Director Amy O’Meara for more information about participating.
The Valuing Natural Capital Initiative is led in collaboration with: