Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development

Whitepaper Natural Capital Expeditions

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Publication: Whitepaper Natural Capital Expeditions

A White Paper has now been issued based on the results of the Expeditions Finance & Natural Capital. VBDO, CREM and NextGreen have combined their expertise for the realization of the White Paper and the Expeditions. There has also been close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

Whitepaper bundles results Natural Capital Expeditions

During the two expeditions – one focused on the construction sector and one on agri-food – questions were addressed such as: ‘Natural capital in the agro-food sector, what is going on and what influence do companies and financial institutions have? How do leaders in the construction industry deal with declining biodiversity and what role does a bank or investor play in this? ‘ The Whitepaper ‘Value creation with Natural Capital, An expedition by finance and business’ combines the results and insights.

During the expeditions, representatives of business and finance entered into dialogues to bring forward a deeper understanding of the risks and opportunities, as well as discussing common challenges. Key take-aways are:

  • A sense of urgency and attention for natural capital is on the rise in CSR and ESG departments, but it is still not a structural part of risk assessments and engagement processes of asset and account managers, and CFOs.
  • Collaboration between finance and business on innovation, tools and data at a sector level is needed to address natural capital dependencies and impacts. It starts with gaining a common deeper understanding, learning from concrete business practices. 
  • Companies that outperform competitors in terms of care for natural resources can offer opportunities for financial institutions to realize and concretize their own strategic sustainability ambitions. 
  • Natural capital offers opportunities for building multiple business cases, thus creating a source for financial innovation and blended finance collaboration. Like green roofs delivering benefits for multiple stakeholders.
  • The expeditions showed that practice-based dialogues between financial institutions and business frontrunners bring forward leverage points for a system change. A shared call can be defined to put sustainability-related policies, like true pricing and green taxing, on the agenda of governments

More about natural capital

In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to the subject of natural capital in the financial sector. End of april 2018, the VBDO together with the ‘Natural Capital Coalition’ and the ‘Natural Capital Finance Alliance’ launched the ‘Financial Sector Supplement for the Natural Capital Protocol’ in Hong Kong. On the website of the Natural Capital Coalition several case studies can be found that can serve as examples. Furthermore, in 2015 CREM and VBDO worked on a manual and training to give the subject a hand and foot in this sector: ‘Natural Capital & Financial Institutions’. Finally, the EU has successfully started a CoP Finance @ Biodiversity