News  |  10.09.2021

Reorienting economy towards nature conservation

This week, the newspaper Les Echos published on its website an opinion column bringing together various signatories* calling on major French companies to ensure that their economic development respects ecosystems.

Reorienting economy towards nature conservation

"For the past few days, Marseille has been hosting the IUCN World Conservation Congress, an event that brings together the international community to decide on the most urgent issues for nature conservation.

This is where the Lab Capital Naturel is presented. Created by WWF France, the Ecological Accounting Chair (AgroParisTech, Paris-Dauphine University, Reims Champagne-Ardenne University, Louis Bachelier Institute) and supported by the AgroParisTech Foundation and committed companies (Bel, Carrefour, GRDF, LVMH, Michelin and Rocher), the Lab Capital Naturel aims to reinvent strategic management and accounting tools in order to inscribe economic development in the respect of the thresholds of renewal and assimilation of ecosystems.

For never has the state of natural systems been so alarming. Over the past ten years, one report after another has shown that six of the nine "planetary limits" - critical processes that govern the Earth's stability - have been or are in the process of being crossed.

Ecological transition

The economic world has a major responsibility in the ecological degradation and can bring solutions by engaging as soon as possible radical measures to the stakes.

The transition of companies towards strong sustainability is an ecological necessity, a moral duty and a condition for the viability of the economy and our societies. The preservation of natural capital is an absolute priority. In a perspective of strong sustainability, natural capital cannot be substituted for other forms of capital, and the degradation of nature cannot be compensated by the creation of additional wealth.

Faced with this urgency, only truly transformative instruments will give results. The Lab Capital Naturel is dedicated to this mission, by enabling the experimentation of two types of complementary tools: methodologies for setting "good ecological status" targets (in particular "science based targets for nature") and an accounting model that integrates, in a financial and biophysical way, these targets into the strategies, business models and dashboards of companies (the CARE model). The combination of scientific methodologies for the conservation of natural capital and multi-capital accounting tools makes this a major and disruptive innovation.

The fall agenda (World Conservation Congress, COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity) offers companies the opportunity to integrate rigorous approaches to natural capital preservation.

We invite companies and governments to join this dynamic by actively participating in the experimentation and generalization of strong sustainability tools, and thus contribute to a historic movement of reorientation of the economy towards the living."

*The signatories : Véronique Andrieux, directrice générale de WWF France ; Alexandre Rambaud, coresponsable de la chaire Comptabilité écologique, maître de conférences à AgroParisTech-Cired/université Paris-Dauphine ; Antoine Fiévet, PDG du Groupe Bel ; Florent Menegaux, président du Groupe Michelin ; Laurence Poirier-Dietz, directrice générale de GRDF ; Bris Rocher, PDG du Groupe Rocher ; Laurent Vallée, secrétaire général du Groupe Carrefour ; Marc Abadie, président de CDC Biodiversité ; Sylvie Bénard, fondatrice de La Dame à la Licorne ; Thomas Binet, fondateur de Vertigo Lab ; Frédérique Déjean, professeure des universités à Paris-Dauphine ; Hervé Gbego, président de SFC Lab - Compta Durable ; Franck-Dominique Vivien, professeur des universités à l'université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne.