Scotland's most innovative projects sought for natural capital showcase

1st May 2015

Edinburgh Castle Copyright Hamish Irvine

The Scottish Forum on Natural Capital has issued a call for case studies that demonstrate how putting natural capital at the heart of decision-making can benefit the bottom line, as well as the natural environment. The best case studies will be selected to create a ‘Scottish Showcase’ at the second World Forum on Natural Capital (naturalcapitalforum.com), which will take place in Edinburgh on 23 – 24 November 2015.

Natural capital is the Earth’s stock of natural assets - including forests, rivers, land, minerals and oceans - that supply us with essential goods (such as food, medicine, fuel and building materials) and services (such as pollination, climate regulation and flood protection) on which all human life depends. Depletion of natural capital does not show up on traditional balance sheets and its value often remains invisible.

The Scottish Government’s recently published Economic Strategy recognises natural capital as “fundamental to a healthy and resilient economy” and a survey of over 500 Scottish business leaders revealed that the majority believe urgent action is necessary.   

Submissions are sought from businesses, financial institutions, government agencies and other organisations from across the country which have developed their understanding of natural capital to bring about a strategic change in decision-making.

Case studies for the Scottish Showcase must have a clear focus on environmental benefits, supported by a strong business or economic case and must involve lessons learned that are relevant to an international audience.The 2015 World Forum on Natural Capital once again brings together a host of international environmental and business organisations, including the United Nations Environment Programme, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Natural Capital Coalition and The Wildlife Trusts.

The World Forum is organised by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, a Founding Partner of the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, alongside Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group, the University of Edinburgh, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS), and the Institute of Directors, Scotland.

The 2015 World Forum will take place in the week preceding the United Nations’ Climate Conference in Paris (COP21) and will be an important opportunity to bring together leading players from around the world to further understanding of natural capital.

Co-Chair of the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, Jonathan Hughes, said: “From tourism to the whisky industry, across all sectors of the economy and society, Scotland relies on its natural capital. We want to use the World Forum as an opportunity to showcase the very best case studies of how natural capital is being protected and enhanced in Scotland for the benefit of communities, businesses and our environment.

 “The Scottish Forum Steering Group is looking for content that will engage, inspire and inform an international audience of business leaders, finance leader, environmental experts and government representatives when they come together in Edinburgh in November.”

Project Director of the World Forum on Natural Capital, Jo Pike, said: “The inaugural World Forum on Natural Capital took place in Edinburgh in 2013 and was the world’s first major global conference dedicated to this rapidly evolving topic. It brought together 500 business leaders, environmental experts and government representatives from 35 countries to help turn the debate on natural capital into action.

“We are already seeing a lot of interest in the second World Forum and are now actively looking for the very best examples of progress on natural capital from around the world. This is an opportunity for Scotland to show real leadership.”

Case studies must be submitted at http://naturalcapitalscotland.com/get-involved/scottish-showcase-at-the-world-forum/. The closing date for submissions is Monday 1st June 2015 and a shortlist will be drawn up soon afterwards.

Photograph: Edinburgh Castle C Hamish Irvine