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Finance CEOs Launch Natural Capital Declaration at Rio+20

19 June 2012: Thirty-seven CEOs in the finance sector announced their commitment to integrate natural capital considerations into their products and services in the “Natural Capital Declaration.” The Declaration was launched during the Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum, held on the sidelines of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The Declaration is co-convened by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Global Canopy Programme and the Center for Sustainability Studies of the Getulio Vargas Foundation. It recognizes the role of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the global economy, outlines financial sector commitments and recommends action by policymakers.

The Declaration emerged to address the risks caused by biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and inadequate water quality and availability. It is based on the recognition that at present, capital markets do not sufficiently account for risks associated with unpredictable changes in ecosystems. It recognizes the role of the finance sector in encouraging a shift from the brown to the green economy and outlines how the finance sector should account for natural capital risks and opportunities, such as by embedding natural capital into products and services and accounting for natural capital in accounting frameworks. Specific recommendations include: understanding impacts and dependencies of natural capital relevant to business opportunities, finance operations, risk profiles, customer portfolios, and supply chains; implementing natural capital impact disclosure requirements; enforcing fiscal measures that value natural capital; requiring reporting and accounting for natural capital use on public procurement and spending, to set an example; and implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

UNEP FI is a global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector that aims to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance. [Natural Capital Declaration] [Launch Event Details]