Press release

IISD says Natural Capital Declaration demonstrates global commitment of financial institutions

June 14, 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO—June 15, 2012—The International Institute for Sustainable Development is an official supporter of the Natural Capital Declaration being launched at the Rio+20 conference, recognizing it as a bold and important step that links the finance sector to sustainable development goals.

Natural capital is the land, air, water, living organisms and all formations of the Earth's biosphere that provide us with ecosystem services imperative for survival and well-being and the basis for all human economic activity. These services are worth trillions of dollars per year but rarely factor into corporate accounting.

The Declaration is a commitment from CEOs in the global financial sector, both: 1) recognizing the need for financial institutions to understand and account for natural capital; and 2) calling on governments to create the necessary frameworks and incentives for the private sector—including financial institutions—to value natural capital and report on its use.

Director of IISD's Natural and Social Capital Program Henry David (Hank) Venema said the Declaration shows how much sustainable development has progressed since the first Rio conference in 1992.

"It's very positive that these financial institutions are embracing the value of natural capital. They've realized that internalizing environmental costs into their financial products and investment instruments can actually increase transparency, reduce risk and contribute to their bottom lines. This example shows that we really have come a long way in last 20 years toward operationalizing core sustainable development principles within the financial sector."

IISD created the Natural and Social Capital program in 2011 to embed natural capital principles within environmental management processes from regional to international scales.

Launch of the Natural Capital Declaration: Perspectives from senior executives
Date: June 16, 2012 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Windsor Barra Hotel, Av. Sernambetiba 2630 – Barra Da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro

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For more information, please contact Nona Pelletier, IISD manager, public affairs at +1 (204) 958-7740 or cell: +1 (204) 962-1303.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 120 people, plus over 150 associates and consultants, come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.