Natural Capital Accounting Recognised as Important Tool in Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals

Natural Capital Accounting

On 9 December 2016 the Council of the European Union officially recognised that Natural Capital Accounting, manifested in the Natural Capital Protocol, as an important tool for maintaining biodiversity. This is a step towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mikkel Stenbæk Hansen, Functional Manger at The Danish Environmental Protection Agency

The Natural Capital Protocol is a framework designed to help generate trusted, credible, and actionable information for business managers to make informed decisions. The Protocol aims to support better decision making by including how we interact with nature, or more specifically natural capital. 

While the practice of natural capital accounting (NCA) has been debated for years, the recent recognition shows that the topic is now reaching the strategy tables of the frontrunners within sustainable and responsible businesses.

This was evident at Climate-KIC Nordic’s recent seminar on NCA on 21 November in collaboration with partner organisation COWI. The seminar explored the viability of employing NCA as a tool to account for natural assets in strategic decision making.

Jan Johannesen, Director of Sustainability, Arla

Representatives from some of the most prominent Danish companies such as Maersk and Arla presented their efforts to integrate natural capital into their financial reports. The urgency to include NCA as a new era of more responsible economic systems was clearly evident among the more than 80 participants at the seminar.

“Natural Capital Accounting based on environmental product declarations is a great help for us in assessing the environmental benefits of our circular business model. The approach also enables us to identify the exactly where in our supply chain our operations have an impact on the environment.” Henrik Schmidt Hansen, CSR Manager, Ege A/S.

Key insights from the seminar were that NCA can be a support tool for selecting suppliers and in logistics planning. It may also help in finding innovative solutions and develop new, green business models. Finally, NCA can be used in the branding of companies as environmentally conscious and responsible.

Climate-KIC is excited to follow the further developments of the Natural Capital Accounting practice, and will continue to build capacity on this topic together with its partners.

See the rest of our photos from the seminar here