Working Group IV: Disclosing and reporting on natural capital
Working Group 4 will support Commitment 4 of the Natural Capital Declaration: “Collaborate, when appropriate, with the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) and other stakeholders to build a global consensus around the development of Integrated Reporting, which includes natural capital as part of the wider definition of resources and relationships key to an organisation’s success.”
CDP is working closely with the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), to deliver key elements of the work plan for WG4 between 2016 and 2018. As disclosure initiatives, the CDP and CDSB offer structured approaches to the disclosure of non-financial information to investors, including in mainstream reports.
The draft work plan sets out two main elements of WG4 i) promote voluntary disclosure by FIs – what are they disclosing against, which questions and data points (CDP) and ii) extension of CDSB framework to include finance sector specific guidance for inclusion of natural capital information in mainstream reporting (CDSB).
Chair: Vicky Beukes, Nedbank
Vice-chair: Kirsten Simpson, VicSuper
Project Manager: James Hulse, CDP
Working Group 4 members (as of July 2015):
Signatories (financial institutions)
BanorteInternational Finance Corporation
Supporters (non-financial institutions)
Climate Disclosure Standards Board
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Natural Value Initiative
Social Investment Organisation
Natural Capital Coalition
US SIF (Social Investment Forum)
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
Scope and activities
Synopsis of working group 4 aims 2014-2016
Working Group 4 aims to ‘investigate how to increase the level of transparency, disclosure and external reporting about the use of natural capital within operations and the ‘value chain’ of financial institutions’. WG4 will develop a disclosure programme and guidance to build capacity of financial institutions to report primarily on their indirect use of and effect on natural capital. WG4 will focus on the financial ‘activities’ of FIs, focusing on exposure to natural capital as providers of financial products and services (loans, investments, insurance). The direct impacts and dependencies of an FI’s own corporate ‘operations’ (offices etc) and supply chains, which are relatively minor, will be included as a minor element in the scope of work.
Proposed long-term output from Working Group 4
• An NCD/CDP questionnaire for disclosure on natural capital together with guidance to support implementation of reporting.
• An disclosure programme for natural capital.
• NCD/CDSB guidance on how financial institutions can disclose material natural capital-related information linked to their business operations, including portfolios, in an integrated way in their primary reports. E.g. Annual Reports & Accounts.
Outputs in Phase II from 2016-2018
• Tested disclosure programme/process and information request. Guidance on type of information to report on, organisational boundaries, metrics and indicators, quantitative vs. qualitative information.
• Invite a sample of signatories to answer the NCD/CDP questionnaire and report in line with the NCD/CDSB guidance on a confidential basis. Aggregate results will be shared and inform the development of the programme/guidance.
• Publish report on findings jointly with the NCD Secretariat.
• Draft stakeholder (FIs) engagement programme with roadmap and milestones.
Structuring work to disclose and report on natural capital
Work streams for disclosure and integrated reporting
Work stream 1: Disclosure
Research and development to enable and promote appropriate disclosure by financial institutions on their exposure to natural capital through financial ‘activities.’ Disclosure guidance could include sources of data and indicators that FIs could use to assess risks associated with their reliance on natural capital or the way in which their activities affect natural capital (which is most relevant may be sector specific). Outputs in terms of disclosures by financial institutions can inform the work of the second work stream. Develop reporting indicators for natural capital disclosure and reporting for financial institutions in association with WG4 members, WG3 and relevant bodies such as SASB and the International Integrated Reporting Council, among others (see below).
Work stream 2: Natural capital in Integrated Reporting by financial institutions
Work package 1: Supplementary guidance/framework (2014-16)
CDP to work with the CDSB to develop guidance on including natural capital information in mainstream financial reports in the context of Integrated Reporting. Information disclosed under the disclosure programme (work stream 1) can be filtered to identify relevant information for primary/financial reports. Develop supplement to the extended CDSB reporting Framework specifically for use by FIs to support the identification of natural capital risks and opportunities in portfolios. Conduct a pilot project to test reporting against an interim version of the supplementary guidance/framework with a group of NCD signatories, evaluate results and report on findings.
Work package 2: Report on natural capital and IR in the financial sector
The IIRC Framework sets out three fundamental concepts that underpin Integrated Reporting. They are – the capitals, – the organisation’s business model and – the creation of value over time. All three fundamental concepts equally affect natural capital and Integrated Reporting. This work stream seeks to publish an NCD/CSDB report on Natural Capital and Integrated Reporting in the financial sector.