Global economic growth and ongoing loss of biodiversity and ecosystems have resulted in increased attention to the high level of dependence of economies on natural systems. Governments and companies worldwide have started accounting for changes in the stock of natural capital, with methods and terminology documented in the Natural Capital Protocol, and setting objectives to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by ensuring infrastructure development projects follow the mitigation hierarchy.
Yet these efforts to date are not well integrated. There has been relatively slow progress in the application of appropriate planning and accounting tools to biodiversity in business. Businesses’ awareness of their dependencies upon natural capital and the flow of services they provide has focused more on water and carbon than biodiversity.
Forest Trends is working with eftec (Economics For the Environment Consultancy) to correct this situation by developing and piloting a method to integrate best practice in no net loss/net gain for biodiversity (including offsetting in line with the BBOP handbook), into the corporate natural capital accounting (CNCA) framework. This approach will enable a biodiversity metric to be displayed alongside monetary values on a natural capital balance sheet, helping companies to demonstrate credible natural capital accounts with respect to biodiversity.
A briefing paper and a detailed technical paper on this methodology have been drafted, and the method applied to a linear transport case study. This work was presented to an experts’ workshop in May 2017 and an updated version will be discussed at the World Forum on Natural Capital and the BBOP Advisory Group meeting at the end of November 2017.
This presentation was delivered on Wednesday 11 October by Ian Dickie and Adams Koshy, eftec; Kerry ten Kate, Forest Trends; and Julia Baker, Balfour Beatty.