Natural Convergence: Integrating Business and Government Strategies to Manage Natural Capital
Tony Juniper; Paul Kelly, Asda; Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher; Richard Benyon, MP, Defra; Martin Roberts, CPSL
The report Natural Convergence: Integrating Business and Government Strategies to Manage Natural Capital was launched by Natural Environment Minister Richard Benyon, Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher Plc and Paul Kelly, Corporate Affairs Director ASDA Stores Ltd on 10 September 2012 at the Royal Society in London.
Between December 2011 and July 2012 two groups of diverse business leaders from across the UK wood and dairy industry value chains met with policymakers and academics.
They explored how business manages its impacts and dependencies on natural capital through procurement and how this relates to the way government influences natural capital through land use policy. The culmination of this work, the Natural Convergence report, was launched on 10 September 2012.
The report looks in detail at UK grasslands and forests, which together account for 51 per cent of the land surface, support hundreds of thousands of jobs and contribute billions to the economy. It explores the role that companies reliant on these resources can play in maintaining them for the future.
In the report, business leaders call for a new compact between government and companies to address society’s unsustainable use of natural resources. These companies argue that many of the potential benefits of natural resources are unrecognised and externalised from economic decision-making. These include carbon sequestration, habitat provision, water and nutrient cycles, leisure activities and aesthetic pleasure. These ‘non-monetised’ benefits need to be taken into account and pursued alongside economic gains.
Comments from Launch Speakers
Natural Environment Minister Richard Benyon, who joined a panel at the report's launch:
"Balancing economic and environmental considerations can be challenging for businesses, as this report clearly shows. It’s great to see the dairy and forestry sectors getting involved with this kind of work. This is the sort of engagement we need to see - businesses working with government to put the value of nature at the heart of decision making so we can protect and preserve the country’s natural assets for future generations."
Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher Plc, Platform member and panellist:
"Over the next two decades, changes to our society and environment as a result of resource constraints will require a paradigm shift in the economy and society. The companies that recognise and plan for it now will be the winners of the future."
Paul Kelly, Corporate Affairs Director ASDA Stores Ltd, also a Platform member and panellist:
"Businesses like ours depend on the availability of natural resources. It is squarely in our interests to ensure they are managed and protected for long-term sustainability. But we can’t do this alone. The government can help by ensuring targets are clearly articulated, expectations and roles for business are clearly described and the frameworks required to make changes economically feasible are put in place."
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