The Spanish Working Group on Natural Capital and Energy participated in the Capitals Collaboration Day, organised by the Capitals Coalition —which is the result of a merger between the Natural Capital Coalition and the Social and Human Capitals Coalition-, within the framework of the Natural Capital Week 2019.
Isabel Tomé, from the Department of Corporate Environmental Management of Iberdrola, and Lucía Santolaria, Reporting, Risks and Compliance of Cepsa, shared with the large audience gathered how the eight Spanish energy companies that are members of the working group coordinated by Azentúa and Ecoacsa are working together to incorporate natural capital in their decision making.
During her speech at the session focused on examples of the application of natural capital thinking from a corporate perspective, Isabel Tomé advanced that Iberdrola’s vision is to have a positive net impact on both the environment and communities. “Our goal is to protect and continuously enhance the biodiversity around our assets,” she said.
She also explained that natural capital assessments provide a “better understanding of the value of the existing natural capital of our assets and their environment, while allowing us to understand the ways in which this value can be protected and increased and how Iberdrola depends on natural capital; as well as supporting decision-making for investments in restoration that enhance natural capital and the provision of ecosystem services”.
Isabel Tomé, Corporate Environmental Management of Iberdrola, during her presentation at the Capitals Collaboration Day 2019
Regarding how members of the Working Group on Natural Capital and Energy are working collaboratively, Tomé stressed that one of the great values of this project is that “although many of us are competitors, we are working together and in a collaborative way to agree on a valid terminology for energy sector” that they hope will serve as a reference to other companies and sectors.
Additionally, she pointed out that they are using the Natural Capital Protocol as a framework for conducting natural capital assessments, knowing different tools and selecting those that are most appropriate for energy sector.
"One of the great values of this project is that “although many of us are competitors, we are working together and in a collaborative way to agree on a valid terminology for energy sector”
Lucía Santolaria explained that Cepsa’s natural capital approach focuses on taking more efficient account of ecosystem services in its strategy. Among other measures, the company puts an important focus on biodiversity. They have created a baseline study on the ecosystems that surround their main facilities, information that has allowed them to create biodiversity action plans to improve biological diversity in the sites where they operate.
Regarding the reasons why Cepsa decided to join the Working Group on Natural Capital and Energy, she highlighted “the strategic support it represents for decision-making; the opportunity of analzing our strengths and weaknesses as a sector to be able to deal more accurately with the challenges we face; how natural capital can help us make appropriate decisions so that our activities are more efficient and sustainable in the global context and the development of the sector guide on natural capital and energy, which will harmonize the approach of the energy industry in this area.“
"The group aims at serving as a reference to other companies and sectors and to motivate them, both at National and International scale, to include nature in their business decisions"