CEF Spotlight

41 Global Companies Aim to Spur Corporate Action with New Online Platform Linking Nature with Business Benefits

New Natural Capital Business Hub offers a searchable database of case studies and resources to help companies evaluate the business case for action on natural capital. 

NATURAL CAPITAL BUSINESS HUB LOGOPhoenix, AZ – February 19, 2014 – Unveiled at the 6th Annual GreenBiz Forum, The Natural Capital Business Hub (www.naturalcapitalhub.org) is a dynamic online resource designed to help companies uncover opportunities to enhance their bottom lines by integrating the value of natural capital into their strategy, operations, accounting and reporting. “Natural capital” refers to the value that healthy ecosystems provide in the form of goods such as clean water, metals and minerals; and services such as defense from storms, flood prevention, and protection from fires. The Hub seeks to support corporate action and collaboration by providing a curated showcase of best practice examples, guidance and tools, as well as connections to experts and potential partners from the corporate and NGO community.

The first 41 companies to be showcased on the Hub represent more than $1.4 trillion in revenues and include: Alcoa, American Electric Power (AEP), Bimbo Bakeries USA, British American Tobacco, CEMEX, CH2M HILL, The Clorox Company, Coca-Cola, Danone Brazil, Darden Restaurants, Dell, Desso, Disney, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Ecolab, EKO Asset Management, Enterprise Holdings, Exelon, FEMSA, General Motors, Grupo Antofagasta Minerals, HanesBrands, HP, Kering, Kimberly-Clark, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Microsoft, New Forests, Patagonia, PaxWorld, SABMiller, Shell, Tata Consultancy Services, TD Bank, Unilever, Veolia Water, Walmart Brasil, Webcor, Weyerhaeuser, Xerox and YES BANK.

“The natural capital of our earth is at risk. The Natural Capital Business Hub helps companies share good practice in new ways of working and designing infrastructure,” said Rupert Thomas, Vice President, Environment at Shell. “It is important for me that we at Shell can share our experiences with green infrastructure solutions that can lower costs and carbon emissions while building up critical ecosystems, and also learn from others.” 

The Hub is the culmination of intensive consultation, partnership building and collaboration with scores of companies and organizations, led by the Corporate Eco Forum and The Nature Conservancy. It builds upon a 2012 e-report, The New Business Imperative-Valuing Natural Capital, released at Rio +20, and was built with support by the Natural Capital Coalition (formerly the TEEB for Business Coalition) and invaluable in-kind technical expertise from Tata Consultancy Services.

There is not a silver bullet approach to assessing or managing natural capital, but we hope the Hub will help companies see that the challenges are not insurmountable, and the solutions are within reach”, said Amy O’Meara, Director of the Corporate Eco Forum. Right now, too many opportunities for action and collaboration are going unnoticed. We hope the Hub will begin to change that, and we’re honored that so many leading companies have joined the Hub to show the way.”

Designed to be a truly open and collaborative space, the Hub will help companies and organizations learn from each other’s work, forge meaningful connections and avoid duplication in their efforts to incorporate the value of nature’s assets into their businesses. Corporate leaders, facility managers and others making capital, investment, sourcing and brand decisions will benefit from this new free resource. The Hub provides:

  • Company case studies for benchmarking and learning, easily sortable and searchable by industry, geography, approach and ecosystem. Many of these are projects in progress, enabling users to see into the process as much as the results.
  • Tools to help make the internal business case for action.
  • Implementation assistance in the form of goal-setting and action frameworks, tools, and data sources gathered from supporting organizations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Trucost, and many others.
  • Collaboration opportunities for businesses to join together on specific challenges, common commodity streams, supply chains or geographies, and high-priority projects that are seeking corporate partners.
  • Networking with a growing online community of sustainability professionals focused on natural capital via the 2degrees Network.

Many natural capital issues are larger than one company can manage or solve – for instance, ensuring water supply from a large watershed, or restoring oyster reefs for resilience along a shoreline. These benefit from collective action and investment, and the Hub highlights opportunities to join forces for a stronger return on investment,” said Michelle Lapinski, Senior Advisor, Valuing Nature, The Nature Conservancy.

Samir Menon, Head of Eco Sustainability Services, Americas, for Tata Consultancy Services added, “Widespread adoption of natural capital accounting by companies has been hindered by data gaps and inconsistencies in the metrics being applied. We believe the Hub can play an important role by providing a standardized way for companies to share their impacts and progress over time.”

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