This week, a new framework for reporting environmental information and natural capital was published by the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB). James Borrell, NERC Policy Fellow with the Natural Capital Initiative attended the launch at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and summarises what this means for natural capital in the UK.
Objectives of the CDSB Framework
The new framework hopes to offers a way of reporting natural capital through mainstream and established mechanisms; rather than having to develop an extensive suite of new systems that could take considerable time and resources whilst potentially facing challenges to uptake. This work should result in ‘clear, concise and consistent information to investors’ that links an ‘organisation’s environmental performance with its overall strategy, performance and prospects’.
Consequently, it is hoped that it will enable and encourage investment in environmental protection to support Natural Capital resources, whilst adding value to businesses existing reporting process.
Speaker Lois Guthrie, Executive Director of the CDSB, commented that we have amazing infrastructure for financial capital, but nothing for natural capital. To address this the CDSB framework takes existing mechanisms for reporting financial capital and adapt them for natural capital, to minimise work for businesses. They believe ‘valuing nature’ and ‘reporting how you do it’ is crucial for a sustainable future.
This new framework builds on the previous success of their climate change reporting framework, a voluntary reporting framework designed to elicit climate change-related information of value to investors in mainstream financial reports. It should also be complementary to the Natural Capital Protocol.
Other speakers included:
- Anders Borg, Former Minister of Finance, Sweden; Chair, World Economic Forum’s Global Financial System Initiative
- Michael Izza, CEO, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
- Gordon Wilson, Senior Manager, KPMG
Download full report.
The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) is an international consortium of business and environmental NGOs. We are committed to advancing and aligning the global mainstream corporate reporting model to equate natural capital with financial capital.
The Natural Capital Coalition (NCC) is a global, multi stakeholder open source platform for supporting the development of methods for natural and social capital valuation in business.
The Natural Capital Protocol is a project of the NCC that aims to transform the way business operates through understanding and incorporating their impacts and dependencies on natural capital. The intent is not to invent new methods, but to build on the front runners that already exist, fill the gaps, and enable a period of experimentation in the market via different sectors and geographies.