FWPA’s WoodChat podcast focuses its latest episode on an approach that will enhance the Australian forestry industry’s sustainability credentials through improved use of natural resources. Globally, an increasing number of organisations are turning to natural capital accounting (NCA) to demonstrate their efforts around environmental stewardship.
Natural capital refers to the world’s stock of renewable and non-renewable resources, such as soil, air and water. NCA describes a commitment to the measurement, recording and effective management of those resources as they are used to create products and services.
“NCA provides us with the framework to best utilise our limited resources and demonstrate efforts to protect our natural world,” said FWPA Statistics and Economics Manager Kevin Peachey. “This WoodChat episode delves deep into how NCA can be used to benefit the industry as well as the environment.”
A recently completed FWPA-commissioned report lays out a series of sample ecosystem accounts for use by the forestry industry relating specifically to the Green Triangle area of Australia. During the episode, listeners will hear from Dr Anthony O’Grady, Senior Principal Research Scientist at the CSIRO which led this research.
Dr O’Grady talks about how the approach has many potential benefits, including making businesses a more attractive investment to the growing pool of impact investors focused on the sustainability of enterprises. Discussion then moves into how NCA could support businesses in receiving payments for environmental services such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity outcomes, and water filtration services.
Dr O’Grady said, “There’s also a real opportunity to reduce your business risk through opportunities to become better managers of your natural capital inputs and make your business more sustainable. “Forestry is well-placed for this kind of work as it has a strong background in data collection. We found you can get a long way by using the kind of existing data that most forestry companies are already collecting as part of their day-to-day operations.”
Listeners will also hear from Chief Financial Officer at Forico, Rayne van den Berg. Forico has committed to the development and publication of an annual Natural Capital Report relating to its own activities. The report, now in its second year, has been so well-received globally that it is being used as a best-practice case study by organisations across various sectors.
You can listen to WoodChat on Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify.