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Is natural capital a material           issue?        4 December 2012
Presentation overview•   Overview of KPMG’s Climate Change and Sustainability Team•   Overview of the research•   Key defi...
KPMG’s Climate Change and Sustainability Team
Presentation overview• Overview of the research• Key definitions• Biodiversity, ecosystem services and corporate performan...
Overview of the researchObjectives                            Key audience• Investigate the concept of          • CFOs  ma...
Key definitions• Natural capital – the stock of capital derived from natural  resources.• Biodiversity – the variability a...
Biodiversity, ecosystem services andcorporate performance      Economy and Society                                        ...
Biodiversity and ecosystem services as a businessrisk and opportunityA changing landscape of risks       Natural capital a...
Biodiversity and ecosystem services as a business riskand opportunityType                              Risks (red) & Oppor...
Agenda• Overview of the research• Key definitions• Biodiversity, ecosystem services and corporate performance• Research me...
Research methodologies• Case studies• A survey of ACCA members• A disclosure survey of the top 10 companies by  market cap...
Case StudiesInfinito Gold:                    24th November 2010 Costa Rican                                  government a...
Survey of ACCA members• 60% of respondents agreed that the natural world was important  to their business• Over 50% of res...
Disclosure survey of high impact companies• Many companies have general environmental policies, but few  policies refer sp...
Interviews with company directors                 Global issues and trends        Risk and opportunity identification filt...
Interviews with company directors“Indiscriminate draw-down of Natural Capital poses a risk to our business today andmuch m...
Agenda• Overview of the research• Key definitions• Biodiversity, ecosystem services and corporate performance• Research me...
Key findings• Perceptions of BES as a risk are variable within the accountancy  profession• Corporate BES disclosures, as ...
RecommendationsCFOs                                           AccountantsEngage with experts to understand impacts Engage ...
Launch EventsUK PanelModerator:• Vincent Neate, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability, KPMGPanelists:• Richard Martin,...
Questions
Contact for further informationDr Stephanie HimeLead specialist biodiversity andecosystem services, KPMG Climateand Sustai...
Is natural capital a material           issue?
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Climate change - green breakfast seminar - Natural Capital

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Blake Lapthorn Solicitors' Climate change team held a green breakfast on Tuesday 4 December 2012. The guest speaker was Dr Stephanie Hime of KPMG who spoke about Natural Capital.

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  • Column 1:This sets out the key objectives of the research as well as a caveat over what the research does not cover.This research aims to investigate the concept of materiality and how it is used to identify issues for management and disclosureexploring the extent to which it currently reflects the increasing significance of natural capital as a business issue.It focuses on biodiversityand ecosystems, specific constituents of natural capital that give rise to ecosystem services.The report does not consider the specific impacts on geological resources as these are routinely included in market transactions and accounting practices. Column 2:This describes the key audiences – namely accountants and CFOs – as well as their choice as target audiences.CFOs have been targeted due to their role in driving company strategy and vision. Operating at the board level, CFOs are in a key position to bring the recommendations of this report onto the corporate agenda. They are also important stakeholders for regulators and standard setters, and therefore are well placed to influence such bodies.Accountants have been targeted due to their role, both within industry and practice, in reporting and assuring corporate performance. As a result, the core skills and expertise of accountants will be integral in the creation of new methods to value and manage natural capital.
  • Natural capital – the stock of capital derived from natural resources.Biodiversity – the variability among living organisms from all sources.Ecosystem – dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.Ecosystem services:provisioning services – goods that ecosystems produceregulating services – natural processes regulated by ecosystemscultural services – nonmaterial benefits obtained from ecosystemssupporting services – services that maintain the conditions for life on earth
  • This report investigates the concept of materiality and how it is used to identify issues for management and disclosure, exploring the extent to which it currently reflects the increasing significance of natural capital as a business issue. Stocks of capital interact to support economic activity. These can be classified into six categories: manufactured, human, social, intellectual, financial and natural.Natural capital is the stock of capital derived from natural resources such as biological diversity and ecosystems along with geological resources such as fossil fuels and mineral deposits. This report focuses on biodiversityand ecosystems BES, specific constituents of natural capital that give rise to ecosystem services where ES are the benefits humans obtain from ecosystems which are closely dependent on biodiversity.Business is dependent on the BES aspects of natural capital and the ecosystem services derived from it. Companies also have the potential to impact on sources of natural capital through their activities and outputs.
  • Column 1:Reference: PRI & UNEP FI (2011) Universal Ownership Why environmental externalities matter to institutional investorsThe report asks the question are current approaches and guidance on BES enough to enable corporate management of risk and opportunity?Column 2As shareholder attention on BES issues growing BES beginning to feature in management disclosure and analysis in the qualitative part of the annual report and accounts, or within separate sustainability reports.
  • A few examples – ask for some from the audienceRaw material quality: In order to protect the quality of the raw water United Utilities supplies to its customers, the company has implemented the Sustainable Catchment Management Programme. The programme started in 2005 and seeks to restore 20,000 hectares of land owned by the company, which will improve the quality and reliability of the water table.http://corporate.unitedutilities.com/about-scamp.aspxLitigation risks: In 2011, logging company Concord Pacific Limited was ordered to pay up to US$97million for environmental damage caused by illegal logging it had carried out.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/onairhighlights/big-win-against-illegal-logging-in-pngSales growth: The launch of Unilever’s Rainforest Alliance Certified tea in Australia saw 12% growth in sales.http://www.unilever-esa.com/sustainability/environment/agriculture/sustainabletea.aspxLots of examples in the report, but keep to these so that we have some new ones for the report launchWe have a comparison table of risks faced by different sectors
  • Over 62,000 ACCA members were surveyed on their views and action on natural capital. Respondents were skewed towards senior management such as CFOs, CEOs or other senior management. Low response rate of less than 1% (218 members)
  • Risk and opportunities management Undertaking a broad evaluation of corporate risk and maintaining a risk register are considered a routine part of strong governance procedures. Companies must go through a risk prioritisation process to identify those issues on which to focus management effort. Further filters are then employed to decide which issues are sufficiently material for disclosure in communication to stakeholders
  •  Perceptions of BES as a risk are variable within the accountancy profession: notall companies that are considered high risk in terms of their impacts or dependence on BES by stakeholders evaluate that risk. Nonetheless, some of the accounting profession routinely include such issues within business risk evaluations. Furthermore, a small but significant proportion of companies include BES in their materiality reviews. However, the focus on financial measurement to determine materiality acts as a barrier to BES issues being identified as material. Corporate BES disclosures, as currently practiced, are too limited to provide insights into risk management: a handful of companies in high environmental impact sectors are reporting substantial detail on BES, but the majority are reporting little or no information due to a perceived immateriality of the issue. However, this is at odds with stakeholder expectations, including those of some of the investment community, which are looking to companies to disclose on the matter. Existing financial reporting and disclosure standards can be applied to the issue of BES: in some cases, an item or issue relating to BES is measurable in financial terms and therefore included in the quantitative elements of the accounts. The interpretation and application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) such as those on business combinations and International Accounting Standards (IAS) such as those on impairment of assets, agricultural or intangible assets could be influenced by natural capital loss in some sectors. However, many significant risks and opportunities are unquantified, cannot be easily valued, and are therefore excluded from the accounts. Companies in a range of sectors are exploring the use of valuation techniques to assist in decision-making alongside other means of identifying and evaluating risk: some are testing the use of environmental economic valuation in informing business decisions, others are using stakeholder dialogue or enhanced environmental impact assessment processes that include consideration of BES.There are a number of barriers to corporate action: that impede companies from effectively determining risk and opportunity exposure on BES. Included are the lack of a standardised business case, low and lacking market values for BES and some fundamental accounting principles act as a barrier to action. The accounting and business communities also lack awareness on the issue, which is reflected in a lack of skills to adequately incorporate natural capital into corporate decision making.Understanding of the concepts and terminology: although there is broad understanding of terms such as biodiversity and ecosystems, the terms ecosystem services and natural capital are less well known- reflecting the relatively recent emergence of these issues as business risks.
  • CFOsAccountantsEngage with experts to understand impacts and dependencies on natural capital Contribute to the development of natural capital accounting methodologiesEnsure that risk and materiality assessments consider natural capital Call on accountancy bodies to provide guidance on how to address natural capital Disclose material natural capital impacts and dependencies Follow and track new guidance that becomes available within the area of natural capitalUse their board position to educate other board members on the importance of BESEngage with experts to increase skills through workshops and trainingConsider whether natural capital can be incorporated into financial accountsPilot or trial natural capital accounting methodologies with clients, where appropriate Engage with organisations such as IIRC or NCD that want to develop tools to account for natural capitalCFOs should: • engage with experts to understand the level to which their organisations depend on natural capital; this would include understanding the degree to which company revenues, costs and going concern status rely on natural capital (both directly and indirectly)• ensure that risk and materiality assessments consider natural capital; by doing so, CFOs will be able to determine if the various risks posed by declining natural capital will have a material impact on their organisations and implement mitigation strategies to avoid negative impacts on corporate value• work with finance teams to develop the skills and capacity for accurate assessment of a company’s impact or dependence on natural capital• disclose material natural capital impacts and dependencies, guiding the development of robust disclosure and assurance systems to ensure data quality• use their board position to educate other board members on the importance of BES within key management and strategic decisions• consider whether natural capital can be incorporated into financial accounts, and engage with the IASB or local accounting standard setters on how current accounting standards can be improved to address the topic more fully • engage with organisations such as IIRC or NCDiii that want to develop tools to account for natural capital• learn from those already engaged with these issues, and consider how the tools that are used by these companies can be applied to their own operations.Accountants shouldAccountants should:• draw on their core skills and expertise in accountancy to contribute to the development of potential natural capital accounting methodologies to aid the quantification and management of company externalities• call on accountancy bodies to provide guidance on how to address natural capital within company annual reports and accounts, as well as sustainability reports • follow and track new guidance that becomes available within the area of natural capital• engage with experts to increase skills through workshops and training• pilot or trial natural capital accounting methodologies with clients, where appropriate, and use this experience to work with regulators on disclosure guidance and assurance practices.An emerging challengeThe challenge for the accountancy profession will be to determine when the loss of natural capital will require an enhanced understanding and approach to business-risk assessment and corporate disclosure. Doing so too late may lead to failures when anticipating future risks and their associated costs to business. It may also lead to overlooked opportunities to increase supply chain resilience, secure and maintain licences to operate, and enter new markets.
  • Transcript of "Climate change - green breakfast seminar - Natural Capital"

    1. 1. Is natural capital a material issue? 4 December 2012
    2. 2. Presentation overview• Overview of KPMG’s Climate Change and Sustainability Team• Overview of the research• Key definitions• Biodiversity, ecosystem services and corporate performance• Research methodologies: » Case studies » ACCA member survey » Company disclosure survey » Interviews with company directors• Key findings• Recommendations
    3. 3. KPMG’s Climate Change and Sustainability Team
    4. 4. Presentation overview• Overview of the research• Key definitions• Biodiversity, ecosystem services and corporate performance• Research methodologies: » Case studies » ACCA member survey » Company disclosure survey » Interviews with company directors• Key findings• Recommendations
    5. 5. Overview of the researchObjectives Key audience• Investigate the concept of • CFOs materiality • Accountants• Explores the extent to which natural capital is reflected as a business issue• It focuses on biodiversity and ecosystems, specific constituents of natural capital
    6. 6. Key definitions• Natural capital – the stock of capital derived from natural resources.• Biodiversity – the variability among living organisms from all sources.• Ecosystem – dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro- organism communities and non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.• Ecosystem services: • provisioning services • regulating services • cultural services • supporting services
    7. 7. Biodiversity, ecosystem services andcorporate performance Economy and Society Capital Manufactured Human SocialBusiness Dependencies Capital● Dependencies e.g., raw materials, Intellectual Other Financial Impact provision of a stable operating environment, etc.● Impacts e.g., through pollution overexploitation, or may be positive Interactions through conservation activities Natural CapitalImpact on corporate value Dependencies● Changing asset values/share price Capital Ecosystem Biodiversity● Impact on intangible assets Impact Services● Going concern issuesLinks between natural capital, biodiversity, ecosystem services and corporate value
    8. 8. Biodiversity and ecosystem services as a businessrisk and opportunityA changing landscape of risks Natural capital and materiality• 50% of company earnings • Shareholder attention on BES could be at risk from issues growing environmental externalities (UNPRI) • BES beginning to feature in management disclosure and• Risk that significant costs and analysis benefits are not accounted for in corporate accounts
    9. 9. Biodiversity and ecosystem services as a business riskand opportunityType Risks (red) & Opportunities (green)Operational Scarcity/ reduced quality of raw materials, disruptions to business operations Improvement to quality of raw materials, increased output/ productivity, sustainable operationsRegulatory Restrictions on land access, litigation, resources quotas, pricing andand legal compensation Land access, meeting legislation and resource quotasReputational Potential damage to brand/ licence to operate Potential improvements to brand/licence to operateMarket and Failing to match developments in consumer preferencesproducts Matching developments in consumer preferences,Financing Increased cost of capital/ inability to meet lending requirements Ability to potentially reduce cost of capital/ meet lending requirements
    10. 10. Agenda• Overview of the research• Key definitions• Biodiversity, ecosystem services and corporate performance• Research methodologies: » Case studies » ACCA member survey » Company disclosure survey » Interviews with company directors• Key findings• Recommendations
    11. 11. Research methodologies• Case studies• A survey of ACCA members• A disclosure survey of the top 10 companies by market capitalisation in four sectors: - Utilities - Forestry - Food - Construction• Interviews with company directors
    12. 12. Case StudiesInfinito Gold: 24th November 2010 Costa Rican government annulled Infinito’s gold• Canadian gold mining mine concession due to concerns about its potential impacts on forests, company endangered species and agricultural livelihoods 30th November 2011 Costa• Lost 50% of share value due Rican government upholds it’s decision to environmental concerns• Lead to uncertainties over the company’s ability to function as a going concern
    13. 13. Survey of ACCA members• 60% of respondents agreed that the natural world was important to their business• Over 50% of respondents had included natural capital issues in their company’s business risk evaluations at some point• 49% identified natural capital as a material issue for their business and linked it to operational, regulatory, reputational and financial risks• There was a relatively low response rate to the survey, although many respondents were company directors
    14. 14. Disclosure survey of high impact companies• Many companies have general environmental policies, but few policies refer specifically to BES or natural capital• 75% of companies reviewed report on BES issues, although much of this reporting limited to water related disclosures• 43% of companies disclosure their materiality assessments. Half of these refer to natural capital.
    15. 15. Interviews with company directors Global issues and trends Risk and opportunity identification filter Corporate risks and opportunities Materiality filter Company Issues disclosure
    16. 16. Interviews with company directors“Indiscriminate draw-down of Natural Capital poses a risk to our business today andmuch more so in the future. The severe under valuation and degradation of NaturalCapital constitute a real challenge to businesses in general, in achieving longer termstrategic objectives.” James Singh, Executive Vice President & Chief FinancialOfficer (recently retired), Nestlé“Natural resources such as timber and water are fundamental to Mondi. There is astrong link between license to operate and these issues. They are potentially an areaof critical risk for the company.” Andrew King, CFO, Mondi“The current financial reporting model only tells half the story about a business’s trueperformance and potential. The numbers say little of its reliance and impact on naturalcapital, factors that will increasingly influence competitiveness in a resource-scarceworld.” Jean-Marc Huët, CFO, Unilever
    17. 17. Agenda• Overview of the research• Key definitions• Biodiversity, ecosystem services and corporate performance• Research methodologies: » Case studies » ACCA member survey » Company disclosure survey » Interviews with company directors• Key findings• Recommendations
    18. 18. Key findings• Perceptions of BES as a risk are variable within the accountancy profession• Corporate BES disclosures, as currently practiced, are too limited to provide insights into risk management• Existing financial reporting and disclosure standards can be applied to the issue of BES• Companies in a range of sectors are exploring the use of valuation techniques to assist in decision-making alongside other means of identifying and evaluating risk• There are a number of barriers to corporate action• Variability in understanding of the concepts and terminology
    19. 19. RecommendationsCFOs AccountantsEngage with experts to understand impacts Engage with experts to increase skillsand dependenciesConsideration of natural capital in risk and Call on accountancy bodies to providemateriality assessments guidanceDisclose material natural capital impacts Follow and track new guidance thatand dependencies becomes availableEducate other board members on the Contribute to the development of naturalimportance of natural capital capital accounting methodologiesConsider whether natural capital can be Pilot or trial natural capital accountingincorporated into financial accounts methodologies, where appropriate
    20. 20. Launch EventsUK PanelModerator:• Vincent Neate, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability, KPMGPanelists:• Richard Martin, Head of Corporate Reporting, ACCA• Kerry ten Kate, Director, Forest Trends and member of UK Natural Capital Committee• Gail Smith, Sustainable Agriculture Technical Manager, Unilever• Pippa Howard, Director of Business and Biodiversity, Fauna and Flora InternationalAttendees• Unilever, BP, Defra, Treasury, Merril Lynch, HSBC, Barclays, etc.Events also held in: Australia, New Zealand
    21. 21. Questions
    22. 22. Contact for further informationDr Stephanie HimeLead specialist biodiversity andecosystem services, KPMG Climateand Sustainability Servicesstephanie.hime@kpmg.co.uk
    23. 23. Is natural capital a material issue?
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