Leaders for Nature India Forum: 30th January 2015

Dr Nik Senapati, CEO Rio Tinto-edited (1)

The first Leaders for Nature India Forum held on 30th January in Mumbai, explored how natural capital accounting could help the private sector address some of the biggest challenges it is facing today, in India and around the world.

Under the theme, “Valuing Natural Capital, Exploring Sustainability Solutions,” the forum was attended by about 100 delegates, including leaders from global and national companies, business associations, think-tanks, multilateral institutions and grass roots organizations, as well as sustainable entrepreneurs.

Delegates agreed that business needs to start accurately accounting for their impacts on nature, and take action to reduce these impacts, if they want to ensure long-term security and future prosperity.

The event also helped generate understanding on the imperative for business to be cautious about taking natural capital related risks and how best it could tap into potential natural capital opportunities.

In particular, the following points were identified by the participants:

1. Natural capital accounting has to become a core business decision-making activity in the years to come.

2. Natural capital accounting cannot be accomplished by business alone, but requires multi-stakeholder involvement led by finance and accounting professionals within business, as well as ecologists, economists, financial institutions and credible societal institutions.

3. Valuation on natural capital has to be developed in a way that allows an organization to inculcate it in its business activity and wider decision-making.

4. Indian business understands the role of environmental factors in their operations, but it needs to do more to understand the role of these factors across its value chain and the impacts they have on nature, biodiversity and wider society.

Organizations that function through the preservation of natural ecosystems are largely small social enterprises; therefore, business has a significant opportunity to enhance and replicate these business models.
The one-day event was supported by IUCN’s knowledge partners: SGA-Value Leaders, Global Reporting Initiative-India (GRI), World Resources Institute (WRI), World Business Council of Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) ; LfN India Steering Committee members, IUCN NL, Hivos India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Wild Life Trust of India (WTI); and, by LfN India member companies: ACC Ltd, Wipro Ltd, Rio Tinto Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd., and Cairn India Ltd.