New IUCN and WBCSD Initiatives to Build the Business Case for Sustainability

Jul 16th, 2014 | By | Category: Information and Communication, News

IUCN_and_WBCSD_16.07.14-400x300The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) are spearheading new initiatives to educate the private sector on environmental impacts.

The Natural Capital Coalition (NCC), a global, multi stakeholder platform that supports the development of methods for natural and social capital valuation in business, has announced its selection of two consortia to develop what will be known as the Natural Capital Protocol (NCP).

The NCP will provide a methodology for businesses around the world to understand the environmental impacts that they are making and the extent to which they are dependent on the natural environment, its finite natural resources and functioning ecosystems.

It will provide new research and data for decision-making processes and risk-management in the private sector.

The NCP is being billed by a range of stakeholders and organisations as a major game-changer in building the business case for sustainability.

The NCP brings together leading institutions from business, accountancy, consultancy, financial institutions, and NGOs who will be divided into two forums.

The IUCN and WBCSD are managing the two groups with their expertise and industry knowledge seen as crucial to the success of the initiative.

The consortium managed by the WBCSD, will bring together the various methodologies, systems and ideas currently in the market into a single harmonised measurement and valuation framework for natural capital – the Natural Capital Protocol.

The consortium managed by the IUCN, will translate the Protocol into two sector specific guides on food & beverage and apparel; it will also manage a central hub which will deliver business led pilot testing of the NCP with a variety of global companies.

Richard Fleck who chaired the independent panel of experts that selected the organisations said: “Following a robust tender process, we are pleased to have been able to select this group of experts with outstanding knowledge and expertise to undertake this task”

Robert Hodgkinson, chairman of the NCC, said: “Having WBCSD and IUCN-led consortia develop the Natural Capital Protocol is exciting as it underlines the global importance of this work,”

Peter Bakker, CEO and President of WBCSD (pictured above right), said: “We are delighted that our consortium will co-lead the development of the Natural Capital Protocol with IUCN’s team. WBCSD and its partners have been driving the measurement and valuation of corporate impacts and dependencies, providing business with building blocks that will support this push towards a harmonised corporate approach. This is the vital next stage in our ongoing efforts to improve the overall business case for sustainability,”

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN said: “IUCN and its consortium partners are very pleased to be part of the Natural Capital Protocol collaborative project. Through IUCN, civil society’s voice will be included in the development of a harmonized Protocol. We will ensure that this becomes a valuable and critical enabler for the business community to contribute to IUCN’s mission of a just world that values and conserves nature.”

The NCP will be an open source, global multi-stakeholder framework for understanding, measuring and valuing the impacts and dependencies on the natural environment, as well as understanding the risks and opportunities presented for businesses when natural capital is accounted for in business decision making.

Through a consultative approach, it will bring together and harmonise the multitude of methodologies that exist around the world into one framework; this will serve as the basis for future standard setting and methodologies in this field.

The NCP is intended for use by, and will be tested and developed in collaboration with, businesses.

It is expected that a fully tested first version of the Protocol can be presented by December 2015.

Funding for the NCP is provided by Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) through the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which is a member of the World Bank Group.

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