The NCD and NCFA story
|The Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) is a finance sector initiative, endorsed at CEO-level, to integrate natural capital considerations into loans, equity, fixed income and insurance products, as well as in accounting, disclosure and reporting frameworks. NCD signatories are part of the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA) along with other supporters.
To achieve this, signatory financial institutions are working alongside supporter organisations to develop metrics and tools to help incorporate natural capital factors across their businesses.
This is being done through four working groups, which are focusing on understanding, embedding, accounting for and disclosing on natural capital.
Their work is guided by an NCD Roadmap paper, jointly developed by participating organisations. A Steering Committee has been set up to oversee and catalyse implementation of the NCD Roadmap. It is supported by a Secretariat formed by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Global Canopy Programme (GCP).
While the Declaration remains open for signing by financial institutions, the NCFA Secretariat is now focusing on practical implementation of the commitments in the Declaration.
The NCFA defines natural capital as the stock of ecosystems that yields a renewable flow of goods and services that underpin the economy and provide inputs and direct and indirect benefits to businesses and society. Natural capital is a subset of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors that can be material to financial institutions, mainly through their allocations of capital to companies through loans and investments or premiums as part of insurance contracts.
For more detailed information about the relevance of natural capital to the finance sector, please see ‘About Natural Capital and the Finance Sector’ page.
We would like to acknowledge the generous support of CHK Charities, the TEEB Initiative, and the British Embassy in Brazil, which helped bring all this work together for a very successful launch of the Declaration at Rio+20 in June 2012, where 40 financial institution CEOs signed the Declaration.
Our work is also made possible through the generosity of the following organisations:
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation
National Australia Bank
United Nations Environment Programme
The History of the Natural Capital Declaration
The Natural Capital Declaration was launched at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012. It has been signed by the CEOs of more than 40 financial institutions, and demonstrates their commitment to the integration of natural capital considerations into private sector reporting, accounting and decision-making by 2020.
This builds on the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992, when governments set a ground-breaking agenda for tackling environmental problems, establishing new conventions on biodiversity (CBD), climate change (UNFCCC) and desertification (UNCCD). Developing partnerships with the private sector in the time that followed saw public-private sector leadership partnerships, which increasingly began to question and respond to the material impacts that widespread ecosystem degradation creates for their businesses and the economy as a whole.
To position the finance sector response, UNEP Finance Initiative partnered with the Global Canopy Programme in 2011, to build support for the Natural Capital Declaration. The leading Latin American business school Fundacao Gerulio Vargas (FGV) was a third partner in the vital early phases of the NCD, and they continue to contribute as a supporter and a member of the NCFA’s Steering Committee.