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The Prince of Wales meets business leaders to drive forward investment in the natural environment

last modified Dec 01, 2016 11:27 AM
1 December 2016 – This week His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales joined a meeting of business and finance leaders in Cambridge to explore how businesses can protect and restore the natural environment through their operations and investments.

The meeting was convened by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s (CISL’s) Natural Capital Leaders Platform. The business leaders explored the commercial case – alongside the environmental value - for proactively investing in the natural environment upon which their businesses depend. These dependencies were highlighted in a 2015 report from the Platform, which acknowledged that corporate profitability is threatened by diminishing natural capital reserves including water, biodiversity and soil.

Leaders from a broad spectrum of sectors attended the meeting, including utilities, manufacturers, food retailers, fashion companies and financial institutions. Amongst the companies represented were Anglian Water, Asda Walmart, Kering, Mars, Nestlé, Olam International and Volac.

The Prince of Wales has a longstanding interest in the way business can contribute to sustainability and how companies can scale up their investment in nature. With its business leaders, CISL has been exploring the opportunity for companies to move their relationship with nature to a new footing, and accelerate activities that have a positive contribution on the environment alongside delivering commercial value.

The business leaders from our network are keen to progress with new demonstrator projects within their own operations, which could provide best practice case studies of the business benefits of investing in nature. CISL and our partners agree that generating robust, detailed evidence is crucial to unlocking wider action – alongside aligning incentives and taking longer term, more global perspectives.

During his visit to Cambridge, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall also visited the Fitzwilliam Museum to mark its bicentenary and to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Cambridge University Library.

The Prince of Wales has a long association with the University, both as an alumnus of Trinity College and as Patron of CISL, through which he has founded and supported a number of ground-breaking initiatives including The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme and The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change.

For more information about the Natural Capital Leaders Platform .

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Gemma Cranston

Dr Gemma Cranston, Director, Natural Capital

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