About the Natural Capital Declaration
|The Natural Capital Declaration (NCD), is a commitment by CEOs from the finance sector. It is convened and facilitated on their behalf by a team comprising the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Global Canopy Programme (GCP), and the Center for Sustainability Studies (GVces) of the Business Administration School of the Getulio Vargas Foundation.The NCD was born out of the insight that financial institutions could benefit from greater guidance to embed specific aspects of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their risk management, due diligence, loans, investments, and insurance activities.
The idea of a Declaration evolved as part of UNEP FI’s work on biodiversity and finance, and its effort to articulate a business case for financial institutions to address natural capital issues in their business operations.
In 2010, the debate on the interconnectedness of biodiversity and finance prompted the publication Demystifying Materiality: Hardwiring biodiversity and ecosystem services into finance, launched by UNEP FI and its private sector members at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, that same year.
During 2010 and 2011, six regional meetings saw financial institutions, the United Nations, and members of civil society reach an agreement on the need to lay down their common position.
The Natural Capital Declaration was born out of the discussions and feedback from these meetings. In 2011 it joined forces with a parallel finance sector initiative of the same name facilitated by Oxford-based environmental think-tank The Global Canopy Programme (GCP) and leading Latin American business school Fundacao Gerulio Vargas (FGV).
GCP has engaged financial institutions across the world through its Forest Footprint Disclosure Project, which engages corporations to understand their impact on forests as natural capital through their operations and supply chains. This initiative is supported by over 7 trillion US$ under management by the finance sector.
The generous support of CHK Charities, the TEEB Initiative, and the British Embassy in Brazil have also played an important part in getting the Declaration off the ground.
In October 2011, Declaration conveners presented the Natural Capital Declaration at UNEP FI’s Global Roundtable and invited the world’s financial institutions to sign it.
The Natural Capital Declaration will be publicly launched just ahead of the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20.