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Bloom or Bust: How Financial Institutions are exposed to Natural Capital Risk

Are you interested in how your financial institution is exposed to natural capital risk and how businesses depend on nature?

The Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA) recently held a webinar outlining the findings of the first phase of the Advancing Environmental Risk Management (AERM) project, which you can view here.

New framework provides guidance on importance of assessing natural capital impacts and dependencies in global finance: Connecting Finance and Natural Capital

23 April Hong Kong: Today ‘Connecting Finance and Natural Capital: A Supplement to the Natural Capital Protocol’ (the Supplement) is launched during an event at the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The Supplement provides a framework for financial institutions (FIs) to assess the natural capital impacts and dependencies of their investments and portfolios.

WHAT IS NATURAL CAPITAL:
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO FINANCE

Natural capital underpins our societies, economies and institutions and regulates the environmental conditions that enable human life.  

Put simply, it is the food we eat, the water we drink, the plants that provide us with materials with which to build, or medicines to keep us healthy. Natural capital is the forests that suck millions of tonnes of carbon from the air and lock it away, that help to regulate local weather patterns and the water cycle.

Natural capital is the insects that pollinate our crops and the healthy soils that allow them to grow.

The sustainability of financial returns relies on the sustainable use of natural capital and therefore there is an urgent need for financial institutions to manage the natural capital risks and dependencies associated with their activities and products.

WHAT IS THE NATURAL CAPITAL FINANCE ALLIANCE?

The Natural Capital Declaration was launched at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012. Convened by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and Global Canopy, the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA) is a collaboration with the finance sector to lead the integration of natural capital considerations into financial decision-making.

It drives innovation and develops the practical tools that enable financial institutions to better understand risks, pursue opportunities, and establish the foundations for resilient long-term economic growth.

The Alliance is supported by over 75 signatories and supporters that include financial institutions and other stakeholders. 

OUR SIGNATORIES

  • robecosam
  • yes_bank_limited
  • forma_futura
  • banco_multiva
  • caisse_des_depots
  • monte_deo_paschi_di_siena
  • standard_chartered
  • earth_capital_partners
  • international_finance_corporation_ifc
  • ci_banco
  • pax_world_management_corp
  • fmo
  • national_australia_bank
  • fira_banco_de_mexico
  • nedbank
  • rabobank_international
  • financiera_rural
  • asnbank
  • grupo_finaciero_banorte
  • sumitomo_mitsui_trust_holding
  • fundacion_social
  • sovereign
  • vicsuper_pty_ltd
  • althelia
  • mutualista_pichincha
  • citigroup
  • zevin_asset_management
  • china_merchants_bank
  • societe_forestiere
  • ping_an_bank
  • vision_banco_saeca
  • caixa_economica_federal
  • banco_pichincha
  • infraprev
  • calvert_investments
  • caledonia_wealth_management
  • kenya_commercial_bank
  • mn_services
  • bbva
  • unicredit
  • actiam
  • mongeral_aegon

HOW DOES THE NCFA HELP?

Signatories to the Natural Capital Declaration have made the following four commitments: 

nr1

to better understand the financial impacts of natural capital-related issues;

nr2

to more fully integrate these considerations into financial sector decision-making;

nr3

to account for natural capital-related assets and externalities; and

nr4

to facilitate more effective disclosure to help shareholders assess how natural capital related risks and opportunities impact value creation.

OUR TOOLS

The Natural Capital Finance Alliance is developing the tools and resources necessary to support these efforts, enabling the financial sector to better understand – at both asset and portfolio level – their dependencies and impacts on natural capital. Recently released tools include: 

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DROUGHT STRESS

Drought Stress Testing Tool – for financial institutions to see how incorporating drought scenarios can affect perception of risk in their loan portfolios.

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WATER CREDIT RISK

Corporate Bonds Water Credit Risk Tool & Report – to integrate water stress into company credit analysis in the Beverages, Mining, and Power Utility sectors.

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water risk tool

WATER RISK VALUATION

Bloomberg Water Risk Valuation Tool & White Paper – enabling financial institutions to incorporate water risks into company valuations across mining companies.

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forestry

SOFT COMMODITY RISK

Soft Commodity Forrest-Risk Assessment Tool – an evaluation tool for banks and investors to evaluate their policies to address exposure to deforestation risk.

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HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE NCFA?

The NCFA is a collaboration of experts and professionals working together to achieve common goals. Alliance members design, develop and test guidance and methodologies for addressing emerging natural capital challenges, and for embedding related considerations within their organisations.

Learn more about the NCFA and its work by exploring existing tools and resources; become a signatory to the NCD; or support Alliance efforts through partnerships or contributions. Help shape a future that not only acknowledges but affirms the importance of natural capital in maintaining a sustainable global economy.