Natural capital

DEFINITION: The elements of the natural environment that provide valuable goods and functions such as clean air, clean water, food and recreation. Natural capital accounting puts a value on these resouerces. Each year, the planet produces up to $72trn worth of 'free' goods and services that are essential to a well-functioning global economy.

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Policymakers are discussing the controversial reforms this week

Business reiterate Brazil boycott as nation urged to set deforestation-linked bonds

Nando's, Ocado and the Woolworths Group are the latest businesses to have signed a letter urging Brazilian policymakers to reject a new land-use proposal that could further spur deforestation in the Amazonian region, with a new report urging the nation to link efforts to combat deforestation to sovereign bonds.

The EAC report also criticises funding cuts to public bodies and calls for the Government to increase Natural England’s multi-year funding

UK's 'poorly mixed cocktail' of policy driving biodiversity decline, MPs warn

The UK is not treating biodiversity loss with the same urgency as the climate crisis, according to a group of MPs that have warned that current Government policies are inadequate to address a sharp decline in nature-based losses.

Image: University of Leeds

Major nature restoration scheme for Yorkshire as Defra outlines new conservation measures

WWF, Natural England and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have launched a major landscape restoration project in the Yorkshire Dales, in the same week that the Government has proposed new measures to protect and restore habitats.

Businesses are under pressure to measure and disclose natural capital impacts, but often cite challenges in terms of metrics and data collection

Natural capital accounting standard launched by BSI

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has issued its first standard aimed at helping businesses and public sector bodies measure the extent and value of their impacts on nature.

The UK's 2019 'State of Nature' report revealed that most UK species have declined since the 1970s, with 15% now facing extinction 

UK Government commits to 'nature-positive' future following landmark biodiversity review

Following the publication of the landmark Dasgupta Review, which argued the case for biodiversity considerations to be embedded in all economic decisions by the government, a new commitment for all large infrastructure projects to be 'nature positive' has been made.

The report comes ahead of the 15th COP on biodiversity and the 26th COP on climate

'Narrow focus' leaving world off-track on climate crisis and nature loss, major UN report warns

Governments are largely failing to respond to the interconnected nature of global heating and the impending sixth mass extinction, not only leaving the world off-track to meet key goals but making the transition to a sustainable future more expensive and less efficient.

95% of the kelp forest in the proposed project area has been lost since the 1980s, the councils claim

Carbon-sequestering kelp: Sussex councils team up for major natural capital project

Two West Sussex Councils have applied for permission to create a large 'undersea forest' of kelp - a project they claim will boost biodiversity while sequestering carbon emissions.

The new commitment was unveiled as part of the company’s latest sustainability report

McCain commits to regenerative agriculture across all farms by 2030

The UK's largest manufacturer of frozen potato products, McCain, has today (7 June) committed to ensuring that every potato grown across its 370,000 acres worldwide is done so using regenerative agricultural practices by 2030.

The TNFD has officially launched today

Can the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures solve the global ecological crisis?

The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) officially launched on Friday (4 June) with an overarching aim to align corporate reporting and financial spending to alleviate nature-related risks. Here, edie explores whether the new initiative can generate enough momentum to deliver tangible change.

The module is currently focused on the mining and agriculture sectors – two of the most exposed sectors to biodiversity-related risks

ENCORE: UN-backed biodiversity module to help investors factor nature into spending decisions

A new UN-back module has been launched today to enable financial institutions to map their exposure to biodiversity risks based on sectoral activities, in a bid to push the economy towards a nature-positive future.

The ‘Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework’ is set to be adopted by governments when the Conference of Parties to the CBD meets in Kunming, China, on October 21

Global Paris-style biodiversity agreement 'lacks scientific basis', researchers warn

Efforts to formulate a "Paris-style" agreement to halt global biodiversity loss lack definition, fails to align with the scientific need to reverse nature loss and place Indigenous People at risk, according to a global alliance of NGOs.

The LEAF initiative aims to mobilise at least $1bn to support emissions reductions by ensuring tropical forests that act as carbon sinks are protected from deforestation

Amazon and Unilever among businesses teaming with governments on $1bn deforestation pledge

A group of businesses including Amazon, Unilever, and Nestlé has joined the UK, US and Norwegian governments in setting up a new public-private initiative committing $1bn to combat the climate crisis through the conservation and preservation of tropical forests across the globe.

Carbon stored in deep peat soils such as those in fens and raised bogs are up to eight times greater than the amount stored by an equivalent area of tropical rainforest

Natural England: Biodiversity critical to reaching net-zero

Peatlands, woodlands and coastal marine habitats are all vital in helping the UK reach net-zero emissions by 2050, but efforts need to be made to improve biodiversity conservation and restoration.

In 2019, 21.8 million hectares of UK waters are protected to some degree

UK's marine natural capital assets valued at £211bn

The UK's marine assets, which include renewable energy production, tourism attraction, sustainable fishing and carbon sequestration, have reached a value of £211bn, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The WBCSD has more than 200 member businesses

Building resilience post-Covid-19: Businesses urged to 'reinvent capitalism' and regenerate nature

If the climate crisis is to be averted and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals to be met, businesses must help to "reinvent capitalism" so the "true value" of nature and society are appreciated.

The guide is free to download for edie users

What is the role between business and biodiversity? Access edie's new Explains guide

edie has this week published a new downloadable guide outlining all the key considerations for businesses that are looking to incorporate biodiversity into a holistic sustainability strategy.

edie Explains: Biodiversity and Business

What is the relationship between biodiversity and business? What are the operational challenges and opportunities surrounding biodiversity? And what steps can be taken to reverse nature loss and restore natural habitats? This free edie Explains guide answers all of those key questions and more.

The likes of Pernod Ricard and Nestle have already enshrined biodiversity into their sustainability strategies

Cutting through complexity: Can biodiversity be embedded into corporate strategies?

In recent months, the importance of biodiversity in combatting the climate crisis has reached a new level understanding, with policymakers and academics peering into this complex topic to try and outline how the private sector can champion it. Here, edie hears from the businesses that have already enshrined regenerative practices into their business model.

The “Terra Carta” outlines ten areas of action for businesses looking to respond to the scale of the interconnected climate and nature crises 

Banking giants unite with Prince of Wales on financial net-zero taskforce

The Prince of Wales' Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) has announced that executives from the likes of Bank of America, BNP Paribas, NatWest and Lloyds have joined on as members of a new Financial Services Task Force aiming to create a net-zero investor sector.

The report outlines policy recommendations spanning from nature restoration to using hydrogen in heavy industry 

Green recovery: MPs call for VAT breaks for energy efficiency, electric vehicles and circular economy

MPs are urging Boris Johnson's Government to take a broader "green recovery" approach, going beyond low-carbon electricity and transport to provide policy supports for nature restoration and the circular economy.

WATCH: Dame Polly Courtice's inspiring Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech

Dame Polly Courtice delivered a galvanising call to action for future business leaders as part of her Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech at edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2021 Wednesday afternoon (3 February), claiming "this is the generation that still has time to change everything for the better".

The Dasgupta Review was commissioned by HM Treasury and lays out key recommendations to reversing manmade declines in biodiversity 

Landmark review calls for nature to be included in economic decision making

A new landmark review has been launched today (2 February), outlining how businesses and policymakers can include and account for nature as part of economic decisions, with many claiming the findings could be as influential as the Stern review on climate change.

The green economy has welcomed the review with open arms

As influential as the Stern Review: Green economy reacts to the Dasgupta biodiversity study

A new landmark review, commissioned by the Government, has suggested that services provided by nature should be assigned an economic value that is used to inform future policy decisions, a move that has been unanimously welcomed by green groups.

Pictured (L-R): Dieter Helm, Kirsty Hamilton and Joan Edwards. 

New Years Honours 2021: The sustainability champions on the Queen's list

The outstanding achievements of dozens of people working across the UK's environmental sphere have been recognised by the Queen in this year's New Year's Honours list. Read on to find out more about the newly-awarded scientists, policy experts, green finance champions and conservationists.

The NCC claims that the state of nature in the UK has not improved since 2011

Natural Capital Committee: Environment Bill updates must stop businesses destroying nature

The UK Government must "urgently" help large businesses to value the natural resources in their value chains and to promote conservation and restoration at scale, the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has concluded.

Mike Townsend, founder and chief executive of Earthshine Group, summarises the net-zero journey

Towards net-zero: Are we really the smartest of monkeys?

Setting the scene for edie's upcoming Net-Zero November month of themed content and events, sustainable business expert and commentator Mike Townsend takes a thought-provoking look at the various drivers, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for businesses on our pathway towards a net-zero carbon, circular economy.

The Conservative Party risks failing to deliver on its overarching pledge to improve nature for the next generation, the report warns

Natural Capital Committee: UK failing on promise to leave nature better for the next generation

The quality of the UK's soil, freshwater and marine habitats has declined in recent years, meaning that the Government is likely to fail to meet its long-term environmental promises without a step-change in action.

Greta Thunberg and other youth activists have vocally criticized the decision

Common Agricultural Policy to remain part of EU's biodiversity funding, despite criticism

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), voted on this week in the European Parliament and Council, will remain by far the biggest funding source for biodiversity protection schemes at EU level, despite claims that it has encouraged intensive and damaging farming.

In a 4.4C world, annual climate-related damage costs could be 17 times higher in 2200 than 2070, the report predicts

CDP: Paris Agreement alignment could cut climate change costs by two-thirds

The mean damage costs of climate change will reach $5.4trn annually by 2070 and "spiral" to up to $31trn per year by 2200 if the global temperature rise hits 4.4C by the end of this century - which it will unless 'business-as-usual' is transformed.

Just 2% of the world’s terrestrial habitat which is degraded and would benefit from restoration is currently receiving such attention

$500bn per year needed to halt nature loss and boost biodiversity, nations and businesses told

A coalition of more than 140 nature conservation groups is calling on governments and businesses to ensure that $500bn of funding is provided annually to protect, restore and create habitats.

If successful, a $2bn carbon credit fund will be launched as a follow-up

HSBC signs up for new $1bn natural capital investment fund

HSBC has partnered with Pollination to launch what it is describing as the first large-scale investment fund focused solely on nature conservation and restoration.