The Natural Capital Coalition (NCC) is pleased to announce its selection of two consortia to develop what will be known as the Natural Capital Protocol. The Protocol will provide a methodology for businesses across the world to understand the impacts that they have and the extent to which they are dependent on the natural environment, its finite natural resources and functioning ecosystems. It will provide previously invisible, yet crucial, information for business decision-making and risk-management. Proponents of the Natural Capital Protocol see it as a major game-changer in building the business case for sustainability.

The work on the Protocol brings together the world’s leading institutions on this subject, in the form of two consortia from business, accountancy, consultancy, financial institutions, and NGOs. The two consortia are managed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The consortium managed by the WBCSD, will bring together the various methodologies, systems and ideas currently in the market into a single harmonised measurement and valuation framework for natural capital – the Natural Capital Protocol (NCP). The consortium managed by the IUCN, will translate the Protocol into two sector specific guides on food & beverage and apparel; it will also manage a central hub which will deliver business led pilot testing of the NCP with a variety of global companies.

“Following a robust tender process, we are pleased to have been able to select this group of experts with outstanding knowledge and expertise to undertake this task,” says Richard Fleck CBE who chaired the independent Steering Group of experts set up by the Natural Capital Coalition to undertake the selection process.

“Having WBCSD and IUCN-led consortia develop the Natural Capital Protocol is exciting as it underlines the global importance of this work,” commented Robert Hodgkinson, chairman of the Natural Capital Coalition.

“We are delighted that our consortium will co-lead the development of the Natural Capital Protocol with IUCN’s team. WBCSD and its partners have been driving the measurement and valuation of corporate impacts and dependencies, providing business with building blocks that will support this push towards a harmonised corporate approach. This is the vital next stage in our ongoing efforts to improve the overall business case for sustainability,” said Peter Bakker, CEO and President, WBCSD.

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General IUCN said: “IUCN and its consortium partners are very pleased to be part of the Natural Capital Protocol collaborative project. Through IUCN, civil society’s voice will be included in the development of a harmonized Protocol. We will ensure that this becomes a valuable and critical enabler for the business community to contribute to IUCN’s mission of a just world that values and conserves nature.”

The Natural Capital Protocol will be an open source, global multi-stakeholder framework for understanding, measuring and valuing the impacts and dependencies on the natural environment, as well as understanding the risks and opportunities presented for businesses when natural capital is accounted for in business decision making. Through a consultative approach, it will bring together and harmonise the multitude of methodologies that exist around the world into one framework; this will serve as the basis for future standard setting and methodologies in this field. The Natural Capital Protocol is intended for use by, and will be pilot tested and developed in collaboration with, business. It is expected that a fully tested first version of the Protocol can be presented by December 2015.

Funding for the development of the Natural Capital Protocol is provided for by NCC partners the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) through the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.”.