Natural Capital Declaration enters implementation phase
Financial institutions act on their commitment to account for natural capital
4 June 2013, Oxford, UK and Geneva, Switzerland: The Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) has launched a new phase of action, during which signatory financial institutions will set about implementing the commitments laid out in the NCD.
The NCD is a global finance-led initiative, endorsed at CEO-level, that commits banks, investors and insurers to integrating natural capital considerations into financial products as well as in accounting and reporting frameworks. At its official launch at Rio+20 in June 2012, the NCD was hailed as one of the most promising initiatives of the event.
Signed by CEOs, a total of 41 financial institutions have now endorsed the NCD – part of a growing group of banks, investors and insurance firms that recognise the need for a broader understanding of emerging natural capital risks in bond and equity markets, insurance and lending.
The NCD secretariat comprises UNEP Finance Initiative  and the Global Canopy Programme . Liesel van Ast, formerly Senior Analyst at Trucost, has been appointed Project Manager.
Andrew Mitchell, Executive Director of GCP, said: “Since its launch in Rio a year ago, the NCD has gathered considerable momentum.
“As more organisations join this ground breaking financial sector initiative, we step closer to getting natural capital included as part of everyday business. The second phase of the NCD is a journey that forward-thinking financial sector leaders now seem ready to take.”
Ivo Mulder, Programme Officer for UNEP FI, said: “Natural capital used to be an esoteric subject for most financial institutions. The increase in extreme weather, volatility of commodity prices and water challenges, however, have led more banks, investors and insurance firms to start thinking about how these phenomena affect their clients and thereby their own balance sheet.”
Signatories are now taking action to include natural capital considerations in financial accounting, disclosure and reporting. Four working groups, led by banks from four continents, will address critical challenges to incorporating natural capital considerations in the finance industry. Heading these working groups are Rabobank, Banorte, National Australia Bank and Nedbank.
Ivo Mulder said: “Crucially, the Natural Capital Declaration is seeking to enhance the understanding of financially-material natural capital risks for different asset classes, while at the same time actively promoting the development of financial products that incorporate natural capital considerations.”
The second phase of the NCD is described further in the NCD Roadmap publication:
For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
GCP: Caroline Lewis, Comms & Media Officer, Global Canopy Programme, email@example.com, tel: +44 (0)1865 724333
UNEP Finance Initiative: John Dombkins, Communications and Public Information Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: +41 22 917 8134
Notes to editors
1. Signed by CEOs, the Natural Capital Declaration is the cumulative result of in-depth consultations with the finance community and other stakeholders to understand the materiality of natural capital for banks, investors and insurance firms.The NCD was launched at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012 by UNEP FI, GCP and GVces. It was initially signed by 39 financial institutions. www.naturalcapitaldeclaration.org
2. The core objectives of Phase II of the NCD are to:
Stimulate financial institutions that have signed up to the NCD to show progress towards implementing the NCD commitments.
Develop practical tools and metrics to integrate natural capital in all asset classes and relevant financial products.
Increase the number of signatories so as to build a greater level of acknowledgement within the financial sector about the materiality of natural capital.
3. 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
4. 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
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