On November 6, UNSD participated in Capitals Collaboration Day, a part of Natural Capital Week 2019 that took place in Madrid from 5 to 8 November 2019. Natural Capital Week is a week of events, discussions and collaboration for leading organizations in the natural capital space. Capitals Collaboration Day, hosted by the Natural Capital and Social and Human Capital Coalitions, provided an opportunity for participants to engage in interactive discussions on how to integrate broader definitions of value into economic thinking, including through natural capital accounting.
During Capitals Collaboration Day, Carl Obst and Johan Lammerant (UNSD consultants) led a session focused on the intersection of the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA) and business accounting for the environment and ecosystems. With a growing tendency towards harmonization of corporate natural capital accounting approaches and towards impact reporting, the SEEA is gaining attention as SEEA accounts produced by national statistical offices could provide valuable information and context to businesses with regards to their impacts and dependencies on natural capital. The SEEA can help bring the public and private sectors together in reporting as it is the international statistical standard that provides a view of the interrelationships between the economy and environment.
The session started with an introduction to the SEEA and proceeded with presenting the findings from a business consultation on ecosystem accounting and the results of a recent scoping workshop on the SEEA and business accounting. Participants also discussed next steps, including better understanding business approaches in the context of the SEEA EEA revision and the need for pilot studies on the use of SEEA data by businesses. The session ended with a call to interested parties for further exploration through case studies. In particular, the Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) Project is looking for businesses interested in exploring how they can use SEEA EEA data, particularly in the project countries of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.* In addition, the Combining Forces Initiative recently launched an Expression of Interest for companies interested in developing a case study towards establishing and promoting a common and harmonized understanding of the different natural capital approaches used by businesses and governments (including, but not limited to the SEEA).
*Any parties interested in exploring pilot cases for the NCAVES project are welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.