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Transparent

Transparent is an EU LIFE funded project that will develop standardized natural capital accounting and valuation principles for business in line with the ambition of the European Green Deal.

Only a tiny fraction of the current global economy can be considered to be sustainable according to leading financial institutions and multinational agencies, but the EU has set out an ambition to achieve a sustainable financial system and economy by 2050.

The EU has recognized that in order to achieve this ambition, a shift is required in the way that businesses understand and account for their relationships with nature and people, and that accounting for the value of nature in decision making is crucial to achieve this shift.

The lack of a comprehensive sustainable management system and standardization across corporate environmental assessment methods – including natural capital standards and practices – continues to hamper the mainstreaming of sustainable economic activity across Europe and the rest of the world.

In order to enable this shift, the business community is calling for holistic datasets and standardized methodologies that allow them to include the value of nature and people in their internal decision making and their external disclosure. Integrated datasets will also enable businesses to better understand how best to align their organizations with broad societal ambitions such as the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Transparent is supported by the LIFE Programme of the EU Commission and led by the Value Balancing Alliance – consisting of international companies and supported by pro bono consultants from the four largest professional services firms (Deloitte, EY, KPMG & PwC) – in consortium with the Capitals Coalition – a global collaboration of more than 370 organizations – and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

The Transparent methodology will build on international accepted and harmonized principles and frameworks such as the Natural Capital Protocol, and other approaches used by international companies, such as those highlighted by the Value Balancing Alliance.

The project kicked off in March 2020 and runs until Q1 2023. The primary output includes the world’s first standardised methodology providing practical application guidance for corporate accountants in charge of establishing a natural capital accounting system.

The methodology is being developed in an iterative process and close engagement with corporate practitioners, experts, academia and the general public. Each phase of the methodology development is accompanied by stakeholder reviews, piloting and public consultations to facilitate widespread adoption by companies worldwide.

Deliverables include:

  • A benchmark of best practices
  • The first set of methodology principles
  • Tested corporate implementation
  • Cross-industry and sector-specific application guidelines
  • A blueprint for corporate management decision-making
  • Uptake recommendations.

Project Timeline

Mar 20

Mar 20

Project Kick Off & Planning

Apr 21

Apr 21

Benchmarking Report Released

Jul 21

Jul 21

Methodology V1 Released for Public Consultation

Sept 21

Sept 21

Call for New Assessment Methods & Tools

Jul 22

Jul 22

Piloting

Nov 22

Nov 22

General & Sectoral Guidelines to be Released

Apr 23

Apr 23

Methodology V2 to be Released

Jun 23

Jun 23

Uptake Recommendations

Partners

The Transparent project is funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and is being coordinated by the Value Balancing Alliance. The Coalition and WBCSD are project partners.

Project Publication

This natural capital accounting benchmarking report provides a mapping of the natural capital accounting landscape, leading applications, challenges and opportunities. It analyzes some of the leading natural capital accounting practitioners from businesses to help identify potential gaps and development opportunities.

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