World Forum on Natural Capital unveils programme of international speakers

24th September 2015

Programme challenges business leaders to find solutions for our changing world

The programme for the 2015 World Forum on Natural Capital has been launched today, unveiling a wealth of international speakers and experts who will attend the two day event (23-24 November) in Edinburgh.

The theme for the World Forum programme is ‘Solutions for a changing world’, which is already attracting a growing number of leading business and political decision makers who recognise the importance of the natural capital debate and the need to take action. The inaugural event in 2013 attracted 500 delegates from 35 countries, and the 2015 World Forum looks set to exceed these numbers.

World Forum on Natural Capital logoWith an emphasis on helping business and sustainability leaders identify the economic importance of protecting and restoring our natural environment, the programme for the 2015 World Forum has been developed to drive discussion with financial institutions, businesses and policy makers about how and why they should be making a long term investment in natural capital.

Natural capital - a term which refers the world’s natural assets such as water, soil and forests – provides a wide range of services and functions which together make human life possible. The impact and importance of natural capital to business and political institutions, as well as the planet’s biodiversity, is paramount and will be emphasised this year at the UN Summit in New York, taking place next week, and the Paris climate talks in December.

The programme has been split into four key themes to facilitate greater discussion, networking and to gain insight from the breadth of speakers. These are:

Understanding and managing risk: exploring the growing business risks associated with poor management of natural capital and looking at how these can be turned into opportunities that have economic, social and environmental
Examining the latest innovation and tools emerging within the field of natural capital measurement and valuation, including case studies of how natural capital can be integrated into decision-making and reporting.
Focus on finance and investment: investigating how natural capital risk is being incorporated into decision making by banks, insurers and fund managers, and what this will mean in relation to the cost of capital, credit ratings, insurance premiums and access to finance
Policy dialogues: looking into how an effective policy framework can contribute to more sustainable management of natural capital.

The World Forum will also feature a CEOs’ Breakfast and a Young Leaders’ Roundtable.

Speakers confirmed include:

  • Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP
  • Katherine Garrett Cox, CEO of Alliance Trust
  • Bill Rahill, Director of Environment and Natural Resources of Global Practice at World Bank Group
  • Jayne Plunkett, Head, Casualty Reinsurance, Swiss Re
  • Mary Draves, Global Director of Environmental Remediation and Restoration, DOW Chemical Company
  • John Liu,  Environmental Filmmaker
  • Fabian Huwyler, Vice President of Sustainability, Credit Suisse
  • Professor Dieter Helm, Chair, Natural Capital Committee
  • Simone Dettling, Green Finance Expert, German International Cooperation (GIZ)
  • Benet Northcote, Head of Corporate Responsibility at the John Lewis Partnership

Jonathan Hughes Programme Director for the World Forum on Natural Capital & Co-Chair of the Scottish Forum, said:

“In the week that the United Nations finally launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I’m to delighted announce the programme for the second World Forum on Natural Capital to take place in Edinburgh in November. The Forum will begin to start delivering the SDGs by bringing together political, business and civil society leaders from around the world who, over two days, will challenge old economic thinking that mistakenly considered the environment – our natural capital – as something separate from the economy.

“The first World Forum in 2013 showed how the value of natural capital is largely invisible in business and government decision making, despite the fact it underpins our lives and livelihoods. With its world-class line up of speakers, including First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, the second Forum will go further by showcasing solutions and tools to help us understand and account for the true value of nature’s assets, and how to safeguard these assets in a changing climate and a changing world. I’m very excited at the prospect of bringing together so many inspirational thinkers in Edinburgh to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing the world.”

The inaugural World Forum on Natural Capital took place in Edinburgh in 2013 and was the first major global conference devoted to this topic of growing significance. The event brought together 500 business leaders, environmental experts and government representatives from 35 countries to help turn the debate on natural capital into action. Over 90 speakers led two days of stimulating and informative plenaries and breakout sessions, sharing insights and sparking new dialogues.

The 2015 World Forum on Natural Capital will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland 23-24 November 2015. For more information or to register as a delegate visit: Early bird discounts are available until 30 September.


Representatives from Scottish Forum on Natural Capital member organisations will have access to exclusive content & are entitled to a 30% discount off delegate passes for the World Forum on Natural Capital. If your organisation is already a member of the Scottish Forum please contact Mike Elm, Project Officer on / 0131 312 4765 to receive the discount. If your organisation is not yet a member of the Scottish Forum you can receive these benefits by signing up for membership.