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Sustainable water stewardship and management

Water is an economically strategic resource and a core element of natural capital underpinning many business activities.

A water-secure world means ending fragmented responsibility for water and integrating water resource management across all sectors and through the value chain; this needs to consider risks associated with too much as well as to little water.

 

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Business has a desire for a set of simple impact metrics that can be used throughout the value chain to set and drive targets for sustainable water use.

Too much water also represents a business risk. Members of the Natural Capital Impact Group are exploring appropriate approaches for green infrastructure and natural flood management. They are assessing the potential of innovative business models connecting flood risk management mechanisms with the securing natural capital. 

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Our work


Companies agree to step up action to address growing pressures on UK water

29 May 2018 – Over 60 organisations including businesses such as M&S, Nestlé, Coca Cola and Asda as well as number of water companies including Anglian Water, Thames Water and Yorkshire Water, have agreed to step up action to address the increasing pressures to UK water through improved catchment management.

Companies agree to step up action to address growing pressures on UK water - Read More…

The commercial logic to measuring natural capital

June 2017 – The launch of the Natural Capital Protocol has led businesses to become more aware of their impacts and dependencies upon the natural environment. However, a need has been identified to link to commercial drivers to these impacts and dependencies across businesses. Simple metrics and key performance indicators that relate these two could be a next step to embedding natural capital into business operations and strategies. This working paper sets out the outcomes of a small piece of qualitative research. It explores the use of different metrics for standard business processes by sustainability professionals and their relationship to natural capital measures.

The commercial logic to measuring natural capital - Read More…

Healthy ecosystem metric framework

May 2017 – Investors and companies want to demonstrate their positive impacts on natural capital and show they are reversing the trend of natural environment degradation. The challenge is to identify metrics that are relevant for businesses’ decision-making processes, whilst being simple and practical for investors to use. This working paper outlines the concept for such metrics as developed by members of the Natural Capital Impact Group. It explores how the metric can be categorised as impacts upon the quality and quantity of soil, water and biodiversity. The paper explains the simple methodology that can be applied for business to calculate their impacts consistently and comparably, focusing particularly on the biodiversity component of this metric (soil and water components will be described in separate papers).

Healthy ecosystem metric framework - Read More…

How businesses measure their impacts on nature

May 2017 – Opportunities exist for investors and companies to demonstrate positive impacts and show they are reversing the trend of natural capital degradation. This working paper explores the challenges with identifying metrics that are relevant for businesses’ decision-making processes, whilst being simple and practical for investors to use. It is concluded that there is a lack of comprehensive, commonly accepted metrics that can be used by business and investors to consistently demonstrate their impact upon natural capital. CISL are working with a group of investors and multinational companies to explore and develop these metrics in response to this gap. This working paper represents the first output from CISL led research.

How businesses measure their impacts on nature - Read More…

Resilience in commercial forestry: Doing business with nature

March 2017 – A new Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership report presents the case for natural resources to be better considered in commercial forestry decision-making processes.

Resilience in commercial forestry: Doing business with nature - Read More…

Threading natural capital into cotton

11 February 2016 – A new Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership report, produced jointly with leading global businesses, addresses natural capital challenges in the cotton industry that impact all actors, from farmer to retailers.

Threading natural capital into cotton - Read More…

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Contact

Gemma Cranston

Dr Gemma Cranston, Director, Natural Capital

 | T: +44 (0)1223 761711