The Align project – Aligning accounting approaches for nature – will support businesses, financial institutions and other stakeholders in developing standardised natural capital accounting practices, including a standardised approach to biodiversity measurement. The project is funded by the European Commission, and led by WCMC Europe, Capitals Coalition, Arcadis, ICF and UNEP-WCMC.
Align focuses its efforts on the space where experimentation has occurred, many different methodologies have evolved, and a business need has been expressed. Align’s aim is to accelerate the natural evolution of natural capital accounting approaches from guidance to standardisation.
The aim is to develop a generally accepted set of methods, indicators and criteria for corporate biodiversity measurement tools and approaches, sector specific guidance for site based, value chain and finance sector companies and a standardised approach to measure corporate impacts and dependencies on biodiversity.
Align will do so by building on the existing work of the consortium members (EU B@B Platform; Aligning Biodiversity Measures for Business collaboration; TRANSPARENT project) and other initiatives to maximise synergies with complementary work. The strength of the project will be seen by the benefits provided from intensive business engagement. Align will work to develop guidance that is sector specific, with the end goal of providing businesses and financial institutions a standardised approach on biodiversity inclusive natural capital management accounting practices that is supported by a broad range of stakeholders. The geographic focus is the EU, but it will link to global business and policy initiatives to ensure the project impact extends globally and positions EU businesses at the forefront of biodiversity policy implementation.
Opportunities for engagement
Align is a business-focused and business-driven project. Therefore, we invite businesses and other stakeholders in the field of natural capital accounting and corporate biodiversity measurement, valuation and disclosure to engage in this project.
Businesses and other stakeholders can choose various levels of engagement. You can engage as an active practitioner within a smaller community, or you can follow our activities as a member of the broader community.
Community of Interest
Joining the broader Align Community of Interest will allow businesses to stay up to date on the latest developments on tools and standards related to biodiversity measurement and natural capital accounting. You will receive Align updates on a bimonthly basis via the EU B@B Platform newsletter with a specific section dedicated to Align (see the following link).
Community of Practice
Businesses participating in the Align Community of Practice will actively contribute to the creation of the project’s tools and standards, ensuring that all outputs are relevant and fit-for-purpose for businesses and financial institutions. Individuals will participate in 2-3 online workshops per year, respond to an annual survey, and comment on emerging documents (more details in the terms of reference).
To ensure products are scientifically robust and backed by science, a Technical Hub will meet twice annually to discuss specific topics related to biodiversity measurement. Individuals will be formed as a sub-set of the Community of Practice and attend in-person events twice annually (more details in the terms of reference).
An independent Advisory Board will act as a sounding board to the Align project by reviewing and providing input into key deliverables from the perspective of businesses and financial institutions. Members, representing a range of stakeholders, will act as champions to the project (more details in the terms of reference).
The Align project was officially launched with a webinar on Wednesday, 10 March 2021, from 5.00-6.00 pm CET. If you would like to join the Community of Interest or request to join the Community of Practice, please register your interest.