Natural Capital Declaration announces new signatories and supporters as implementation begins
FMO, First Green Bank, TEEB for Business Coalition, Trucost and ASrIA join the NCD
7 June 2013, Oxford, UK and Geneva, Switzerland: The Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) has announced two new signatories and three new supporters: FMO, First Green Bank, TEEB for Business Coalition, Trucost and the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA).
The NCD, a finance-led initiative committing banks, investors and insurers to integrating natural capital considerations in financial products and services, was launched at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012.
Earlier this week, the NCD announced the start of a new ‘Roadmap’ phase, which aims to turn these commitments into reality through a programme of work by four working groups, each led by a bank.
The Declaration now has 43 signatories from the finance sector and 19 non-financial stakeholders supporting the initiative. Dutch development bank FMO and Florida-based First Green Bank are the latest signatories to the NCD.
Nanno Kleiterp, CEO of FMO, said: “I believe the financial sector has a vital role to play to enable the transition towards natural and social capital accounting. At FMO we are working hard to make this a reality.”
Ken LaRoe, CEO of First Green Bank, said: “We are passionately dedicated to our mission of helping to show people there is a better way to do business which is financially, environmentally, and socially responsible, and the Natural Capital Declaration provides an awesome opportunity to contribute as global change agents.”
As the implementation of the NCD gets underway, a project manager, Liesel van Ast, has also been appointed. Van Ast was formerly Senior Analyst with Trucost, one of the new supporters of the NCD.
Lauren Smart, Executive Director of Trucost, said: “Trucost has joined the NCD because, as environmental economists, we firmly believe that quantifying natural capital risk in monetary terms will help financial institutions to integrate natural capital risk analysis in their traditional holding and fund-level analysis.”
Trucost’s research for the TEEB for Business Coalition, Natural Capital at Risk: The Top 100 Externalities of Business, found that the natural capital impacts of the world’s largest companies are costing the global economy around $7.3 trillion per year, representing a systemic financial risk larger than that faced during the global financial crisis which wiped $5.4 trillion off the value of OECD pension funds in 2008.
Through the NCD commitment to putting natural capital on the balance sheet, financial institutions will address this challenge and build a broader understanding of the emerging natural capital risks and opportunities in bond and equity markets, insurance and lending.
For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
GCP: Caroline Lewis, Comms & Media Officer, Global Canopy Programme, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: +44 (0)1865 724333
UNEP Finance Initiative: John Dombkins, Communications and Public Information Officer, email@example.com, tel: +41 22 91 78 134
Notes to editors
1. The Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) is a global finance-led initiative to integrate natural capital considerations into financial products and services, and to work towards their inclusion in financial accounting, disclosure and reporting. The NCD is the cumulative result of in-depth consultations with the finance community and other stakeholders and is signed by the CEOs of financial institutions. In Phase II of the initiative, signatory financial institutions are setting about implementing the commitments in the Declaration through the Natural Capital Roadmap. This is to be done through a steering committee of signatories and supporters and four working groups, supported by a secretariat formed of the UNEP Finance Initiative and the Global Canopy Programme (GCP).www.naturalcapitaldeclaration.org
2. UNEP Finance Initiative is a global partnership of over 200 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, working with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance. www.unepfi.org
3. The Global Canopy Programme (GCP) is a tropical forest think-tank, working to demonstrate the scientific, political and business case for safeguarding forests as natural capital that underpins water, food, energy, health and climate security for all. www.globalcanopy.org
4. FMO is the Dutch development bank. It supports sustainable private sector growth in developing and emerging markets by investing in ambitious companies. www.fmo.nl
5. First Green Bank is a customer-driven community bank that promotes positive environmental and social responsibility while providing increased profits for investors and clients. www.firstgreenbank.com
6. Trucost provides data and insight to help its clients understand the economic consequences of natural capital dependency. www.trucost.com
7. TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) for Business Coalition is an initiative to advance the development and integration of natural capital accounting by understanding the magnitude of environmental externalities linked to specific private sectors. www.teebforbusiness.org
8. The Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA) is a Hong Kong-based not-for-profit membership association dedicated to promoting sustainable finance and responsible investment in the Asia-Pacific region. www.asria.org
9. Further quotes:
Ken LaRoe, CEO of First Green Bank: “I strongly believe that efficient, wise use of resources — conservation — is a fundamental virtue and an economic necessity. And I am convinced that business can be holistic: in addition to making a profit, business can have a positive impact on society. As one of the first banks in the United States which has an environmental and social mission, and as a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, First Green Bank adheres to a values-based business model which endeavours to do the right thing for: the environment, its people, its community, and its shareholders.”
Lauren Smart: Executive Director Trucost : “Recent soft commodity price volatility due to drought, and its impacts on company profits, nation’s trade balances and inflation has underscored the dependency of investment returns on natural capital. Trucost’s data and insight has helped many organisations understand the economic consequences of natural capital dependency and as one of the leading companies in this field, Trucost’s support is important to advance the thinking and availability of data on natural capital to financial institutions and its effective integration into financial decision-making. ”
Jessica Robinson, Chief Executive of ASrIA: “The financial sector has a critical role to play in addressing how we value natural capital. For too long, the value of goods and services provided by the natural environment has been regarded as ‘free’ and this urgently needs to change. Importantly, the Natural Capital Declaration is a finance-led commitment – by the industry, for industry action. The NCD is focused on developing tangible tools and metrics – for example, accounting and reporting processes that accurately measure natural capital factors. This is very much needed in Asia and ASrIA is proud to be a supporting organization of the NCD and promoting it in the region.”
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