The Cambridge Natural Capital Leaders Platform convenes companies wishing to better understand and manage their impacts and dependencies on natural capital. By valuing these impacts and dependencies, our members are able to make better decisions, identify new business opportunities and contribute solutions to natural capital loss and ecosystem degradation.
Over the last three years, we have been instrumental in helping progressive companies develop practical tools for business to value, measure and manage their impact on natural capital and offer a leadership voice through the Natural Capital Leadership Compact.
The Platform offers an exciting portfolio of business collaborations, practical reports, online tools and outputs to help address critical issues defined by business in order to inform their strategies and feed into the Platform’s policy agenda.
To discuss how your company can get involved, contact John Pharoah, T: +44 (0) 1223 768844.
The Natural Capital Leaders Platform has published its reports to support the suite of innovative web-based tools launched at the Second Nature event (see below).
The E.Valu.A.Te (Externality Valuation Assessment Tool) reports were developed to deepen business understanding of how to undertake externality assessments through the use of an interactive, online Tool. The reports use step-wise, bottom-up guidance to lead companies through the process of externality valuation, focusing particularly on the agricultural supply chain.
The Natural Performance – Metrics Selection Framework report has been created to explain the importance of natural capital metrics, the key elements in choosing an informative set of metrics to monitor and CISL’s development of a practical, web-based tool to help companies think through their metrics selection decisions. This report also highlights the value of context based metrics in decision making processes.
Second Nature, a University of Cambridge Natural Capital Leaders Platform event, launched a suite of innovative web-based tools to help global businesses better manage the goods and services from nature upon which they rely at The Royal Society in London. Businesses from a wide range of industry sectors joined Platform members to celebrate the launch of the outputs and hear how member companies are embedding the learning points from the Platform into their natural capital strategies.
Watch the webinar recording of the event.
Download the full event summary (pdf).
Read the press release (pdf).
The University of Cambridge Research website features the Natural Capital Leaders Platform: how it is helping big businesses consider their impact on the environment by evaluating and placing a value upon these, currently uncosted, impacts. This leads to a re-evaluation of activities to combine profitability with sustainability.
Read the article.
Following the success of the innovative interactive roundtable Guardian Sustainable Business event held in partnership with Anglian Water on 10 July 2013, the Guardian published a series of articles and infographics in print and online as part of their ‘In Focus’ sequence. The articles outline our approach for collaborative business action to address the paradoxical combination of increasingly frequent flooding and growing pressure on over-consumed water resources.
Engaging a diverse group of stakeholders such as business, regulators, local authorities and conservation bodies will be vital to finding solutions to the water challenges of our time. There is an opportunity to join the group of leading businesses who are developing the practical steps necessary to deliver a multi-sector perspective and vision to the critical debate of too much and too little water. Innovative solutions and implementations are being designed to reduce risk and increase resilience to flooding and drought.
Download the infographics 'Water Water Everywhere, encouraging collaboration and building partnerships' :Infographic 1; Infographic 2.
Download the Guardian article; Why water matters to business (pdf).
Read more on the Guardian website:
Solutions to water stress and scarcity should be collective.
Why collaboration in water management matters for business.
Water resource management needs to be tackled collaboratively.
CISL's EU office hosted a roundtable between European Commission policy-makers and Natural Capital Leaders Platform members to discuss the recommendations from the European Resource Efficiency Platform. The meeting provided companies with the opportunity to share their practical experience, understand the potential for policy to incentivise wider adoption of best practice and was an important first step to achieve shared goals of the management of natural capital.
Olam International hosted our first annual roundtable in Singapore which convened a select group of companies across Asia representing diverse industries to discuss how business can better manage their impact and dependencies on nature’s services such as water and soils by beginning to explore ways of putting a value on nature. Two days later, Grupo Andre Maggi hosted the third annual roundtable in São Paulo with a different group of companies to address the same issues with a focus on the challenges in their region. This was an opportunity to share the work of the companies involved in the Platform, hear from Tony Juniper, CISL Senior Associate and gather perspectives from companies working in emerging economies.
The Sustainable Water Stewardship: Innovation through Collaboration report has been launched, recommending the next steps for business and government to better manage water resources. This report, sponsored by Anglian Water, is the culmination of this phase of our collaboratory which brought together forward-thinking organisations, government and communities to explore better ways of managing and valuing water by pioneering and exploring innovative approaches.
The next phase of this work will continue to develop innovative thinking, focusing on addressing the risks of flood and drought arising from changing weather patterns and increasing demand for water. We invite businesses to become a part of shaping this new development. Please contact Dr Gemma Cranston for more information.
Download Sustainable Water Stewardship: Innovation through Collaboration.
Led by Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of retail group Kingfisher plc, one of the lead Natural Capital Leaders Platform partners, and with the involvement of companies such as Unilever and Jaguar Land Rover, the Ecosystem Markets Task Force (EMTF) has reviewed the opportunities available to UK business that could help them develop green goods, services, investment vehicles and markets which value and protect nature.
Martin Roberts, Director of the Natural Capital Leaders Platform, was invited to join the Ecosystems Market Task Force to provide a unique perspective from academic and business collaborations.
Read more on the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website.
The Natural Capital Leaders Platform is launching three exciting new collaboratories in February and March to continue its leading work helping global businesses to address the challenges of properly valuing and maintaining the Earth’s natural capital. The collaboratories are designed to enact the four business commitments outlined in the ground-breaking Natural Capital Leadership Compact.
Over 100 experts and thought leaders from business, academia and government met at the Pooling Innovation: New Approaches to Water Stewardship event in early December 2012 to discuss innovative ways to address the challenges of sustainable water management. The event, chaired by Lord Selborne, Treasurer, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Water, stimulated the dialogue around what leadership in water stewardship the public and private sectors can offer.
The 'Natural Convergence' report, the culmination of the UK Dairy and Timber land-use collaboratories, 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.
Tony Juniper; Paul Kelly, Asda; Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher; Richard Benyon, MP, Defra; Martin Roberts, CISL
Half of the planet’s topsoil has been lost in the last 150 years and soil processes are not well understood by businesses, yet they remain critical to the delivery of a wide range of goods and services. This ARC aims to create clarity on companies’ impacts on soil in their supply chains, determine critical soil metrics and identify key levers to protect long-term soil productivity.
An increasing number of locations are facing falling groundwater stocks. 70 per cent of freshwater withdrawn for human use each year is for agriculture, with between 15 and 35 per cent of irrigation withdrawals estimated to be unsustainable. The ARC will develop a framework for efficient and fair use of water, based on local-level insight into water thresholds, stakeholder impacts, business responses and their financial implications.
Company operations and agricultural activities are impinging on fragile ecosystems, some of which have high conservation value. The rapid loss of species is estimated to be between 100 and 1,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. This has impacts not only on the operational capacity of businesses but also in maintaining the value of the natural assets upon which they depend. The ARC will develop a set of material and measurable biodiversity metrics that focus on business, local community and global conservation impacts.
With industry concerns around understanding how recent government initiatives fit together and the lack of bold targets on future UK agricultural land use, the aim of this collaboratory is to provide a cross-industry vision, overarching framework and set of accompanying targets on how UK agricultural land use could be improved.
In developing this vision and framework, the collaboratory work will focus on understanding UK agricultural land potential and developing a powerful set of targets and policy messages to catalyse and prioritise action against four key strategic pillars:
1. Improving land productivity;
2. Enhancing UK security of supply;
3. Better protection of nature's services; and
4. Improving livelihoods of farmers.
The outputs are expected to include:
The paradoxical combination of increasingly frequent flooding and growing pressure on over-consumed water resources poses a genuine threat to current and future economic activity in the UK. The time is ripe for new players and new ways of thinking to come to the fore to contribute directly to our future resilience to water stresses.
The new phase of this collaboratory creates a shared business opportunity with multiple sectors by jointly considering the most efficient use of financial investments to implement solutions.
The work will undertake to:
Download the Sustainable Water Stewardship Collaboratory one-page summary on Preparing UK Business for Increased Flooding and Water Scarcity.
A key deliverable of Phase 3 of the collaborator is the creation of an advice note for planners on integrated water management to ensure that water issues (at the strategic catchment level) in new developments are taken into account in local plans. This will ensure strategic water management objectives and outcomes are an integral part of the plan and are taken into account in deciding planning applications. The advice note is intended to support implementation of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and complement any planning guidance that may be issued by DCLG.
Download a summary of the advice note for planners on integrated water management. This document is available for comment; please contact John Pharoah for more information.
This report has been created to explain the importance of natural capital metrics, the key elements in choosing an informative set of metrics to monitor and CISL’s development of a practical, web-based tool to help companies think through their metrics selection decisions. This report also highlights the value of context based metrics in decision making processes.
Download Natural Performance – Metrics Selection Framework
This document gives a summary of E.Valu.A.Te (Externality Valuation Assessment Tool), which was developed to deepen business understanding of how to undertake externality assessments. It consists of an interactive, online Tool and a Practical Guide. It uses step-wise, bottom-up guidance to lead companies through the process of externality valuation, focusing particularly on the agricultural supply chain.
Through a case-study approach, E.Valu.A.Te also shows how businesses can apply the results.
Download E.Valu.A.Te Summary and Signposting.
Listening to Business forms a part of the E.Valu.A.Te suite of resources and exemplifies some of the business motivations and drivers, as well as the barriers to assess environmental externalities. This ensured that E.Valu.A.Te delivered a tool that met those needs.
Download E.Valu.A.Te Listening to Business.
E.Valu.A.Te: The Practical Guide forms a part of a suite of resources, including an online Tool. The Practical Guide provides the technical background and additional information to assist the use of the online Tool.
The Practical Guide also describes the necessary steps of the scoping phase that needs to be completed before the actual assessment (with the online Tool) can be undertaken. In addition, it explains what externalities are and why they are relevant to assess.
Download E.Valu.A.Te The Practical Guide.
Working closely with the Natural Capital Leaders Platform and academics co-funded by the Valuing Nature Network, SABMiller developed its own valuation study, using a bottom-up approach. This study undertook a valuation of the environmental externalities of SABMiller’s procurement of malting barley in Rajasthan, India.
Download the Summary of SABMiller Case Study: The (Sustainable) Business Case for Natural Capital Valuation.
The origin of this working paper lies in a case study prepared for the Valuing Nature Network (VNN) “Valuing Externalities in a Business Context” project, run by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership with funding from the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
This report examines the externalities associated with the increased production of malting barley for a brewery in Rajasthan, India. The company has been working with independent small-scale farmers to increase yields through better crop management and increased adoption of new barley varieties that are more beneficial to the brewing process than the feed barley which has traditionally been grown in Rajasthan. The environmental externalities associated with farm operations are described and quantified, using information from farm extension worker focus groups as well as publicly available data. Four crop growing scenarios are developed for a typical 2.8 ha farm.
Download the SABMiller Case Study.
This Natural Capital Sustainable Water Stewardship Collaboratory report recommends the next steps for business and government to better manage water resources. It is the culmination of the current phase of our collaboratory which brought together forward-thinking organisations, government and communities to explore better ways of managing and valuing water by pioneering and exploring innovative approaches.
Download Sustainable Water Stewardship: Innovation through Collaboration (pdf).
Between December 2011 and July 2012 two groups of diverse business leaders from across the UK wood and timber 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. This report represents the output of these processes.
Download the Summary Report
Download the Full Report
The Natural Capital Business Case Study: The Kericho Tea Plantation is the first in a series of Natural Capital Business Case Studies, and looks at the Kericho tea industry, which lies within Kenya’s most important water catchment.
Each study profiles the work of companies that recognise the importance of impacts on natural capital and take steps to mitigate them, providing inspiration, guidance and learning for companies looking to follow suit.
Download the Natural Capital Business Case Study: The Kericho Tea Plantation.
With growing business interest in the management of natural capital over the last year, members of the Natural Capital Leaders Platform have developed a ground-breaking 'Natural Capital Leadership Compact'. This is a business statement of intent that also urges international governments to commit to a global policy framework on the responsible and sustainable use of natural resources. The Compact has been fed into the UN Rio+20 policy-making processes and is currently generating significant interest among companies with recognised global brands who want to show their support for its bold business commitments. The Leadership Compact is based on the outcomes of practical collaboration within the Platform over the last 18 months to identify innovative business solutions that address natural capital challenges globally.
Download the Natural Capital Leadership Compact.
The Cambridge Natural Capital Leaders Platform, a major business-led programme addressing the impacts of natural capital loss and degradation on business and wider society, has released a suite of major reports focusing on four key areas identified by business in its first year of work. This Summary report for Phase 1 brings together the most important points.
Download the Summary report.
After several iterations, a narrative for a wide multi-sector business audience The Value of Environmental Infrastructure – Business Briefing has been created. This narrative has been further developed and has produced a specific CEO briefing document, Valuing Natural Capital – CEO Briefing for use in the boardroom to make the case for action. These briefings are collected together in the Building a Leadership Narrative for Business report, which is now publicly available to download.
Download the Building a Leadership Narrative for Business report.
The collaboratory has released the report Understanding and Managing the Business Risks and Opportunities, which sets out a toolkit to help business understand the natural capital risks and opportunities. Exploratory scenarios have been developed to interrogate the landscape of risk and to investigate the interconnections between aspects of current and future practice, technology and policy.
Download the Understanding and Managing the Business Risks and Opportunities report.
The culmination of the study is the Increasing Mainstream Investor Understanding of Natural Capital report. The report summarises insights from the investment community and recommended leverage action points for action. These are coupled with detailed evidence from the interviews.
Download the Increasing Mainstream Investor Understanding of Natural Capital report.
This report delves deeper into the risks and opportunities highlighted in the Natural Capital Investment Report. It highlights Natural Capital risk and exposure in the financial sector, provides a gap / opportunity analysis in decision-making within the mainstream investment community, and a gives a synopsis of interviews conducted with members of the finance community.
Download the Increasing Mainstream Investor Understanding of Natural Capital Part B: Evidence report.
Proposing a shift from demand-led consumption to a ‘supply-constrained’ approach, the Building Resilient Value Chains Within the Limits of Natural Capital report highlights the importance of developing a new framework for purchasing decisions which incorporate the cost of externalities.
Download the Building Resilient Value Chains Within the Limits of Natural Capital report.
This report contains case studies provided by collaboratory members that illustrate how value chain interventions can be aligned with the demands and opportunities that drive natural resource use, and demonstrates the value of collaboration and cooperation between organisations and across sectors.
Download the Building Resilient Value Chains Within the Limits of Natural Capital report.
Sustainable Water Stewardship: The Next Big Step Forward was a significant sector event, held in November 2010 with the support of Anglian Water. This publication provides an overview of the meeting’s discussion and its outcomes. It includes a set of imaginative proposals from Tim O’Riordan, Professor Emeritus at the University of East Anglia, which provide a signpost for future work, highlighting innovative ways to address the challenges of sustainable water stewardship and proposing next steps for collaborative action.
Download Sustainable Water Stewardship: The Next Big Step Forward.
From the beginning, a select group of companies have benefitted from and driven this influential and leading-edge business initiative.
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T: +44 (0) 1223 768844
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