From the Natural Capital Steering Committee…

February 2016

Over the course of 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) launched an initiative to encourage the private sector to consider natural capital as part of their business planning and operations by convening four regional business roundtables culminating in a 2016 national summit in Washington, D.C. These regional meetings were sponsored by academic hosts and occurred in four areas of the country: the Gulf Coast (Houston), the Great Lakes (Cleveland), the Northeast (New York) and Silicon Valley (Palo Alto). The case studies that were presented at these meetings and the lessons learned that were shared are discussed throughout this site. Indeed, this website flows in large measure from our year-long collaboration with the private sector, non-governmental entities, state and local governments and others as we sought to answer the question: leveraging our data and other resources, how can we support businesses' progression toward increased consideration of natural capital?

Listening to such industry giants as Whirlpool, Dow, and General Motors we heard striking stories about decisions to move toward business practices that conserve natural capital. We greatly appreciate the engagement and candor of all those who participated in our roundtables. These private-sector pioneers are helping to lead the way toward greater awareness of the importance of considering natural capital in business decisions.

While the roundtables were primarily a joint effort between NOAA and ESA, we would also like to acknowledge assistance from the Commerce Department's Chief Data Officer, the National Institute for Standards and Measurement (NIST) and Economic Development Administration (EDA) as well as the following hosts and participants:

 

Gulf Coast Roundtable, April 16, 2015, Center for Energy Studies at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston Texas — for roundtable on Oil and Gas/Shipping. See here for blog.

Company Presentations:

  • Amanda Brock, CEO, Water Standard
  • Jarod Davis, External Engagement Leader, Dow Chemical Company
  • Mike Uhl, Associate Environmental Health and Safety Director, Dow Chemical Company
  • Rick Marriner, Project Meadowlark
  • Guerry Holm, Environmental Scientist, CH2M HILL
  • Jonathan Weier, Natural Resources Practice Leader, CH2M HILL

Government Presentations:

  • David Yoskowitz, Former Chief Economist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Moderator:

  • Jim Blackburn, Professor in the Practice, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University

 

Great Lakes Roundtable, June 12, 2015, Case Western Reserve University's Strategic Innovation Lab and the Cleveland Foundation in Cleveland, OH-for roundtable on Manufacturing. See here for blog and here.

Company Presentations:

  • Susan Smyth, Chief Scientist for Global Manufacturing, General Motors
  • Jeff Durham, Vice President of North America Region Manufacturing Operations, Whirlpool Corporation
  • Rick Taylor, Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety, Parker-Hannifin Corporation
  • David E. Nash, Partner, McMahon DeGulis LLP
  • Hiroyuki Fujita, CEO, Quality Electrodynamics

Government Presentations:

  • Holly Bamford, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Sue Helper, Former Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce

Moderator:

  • Beau Daane, Director, Sustainable Development, Fairmount Santrol

 

Northeast Roundtable, September 18, 2015, Columbia University's Earth Institute in New York, NY—for roundtable on Finance, re/insurance and real estate. See here for blog and here.

Company Presentations:

  • Eron Bloomgarden, Partner, EKO Asset Management
  • Catherine McKalip-Thompson, Sustainability Lead, Bechtel Infrastructure
  • Stephen Weinstein, Senior Vice President, RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.
  • Cas Holloway, Global Head of Technical Operations, Bloomberg LP

Government Presentations:

  • Holly Bamford, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Moderator:

  • Satyajit Bose, Lecturer in Discipline and Associate Director of the M.S. in Sustainability Management, Columbia University

 

Silicon Valley Roundtable, December 9, 2015, Stanford University's Woods Institute in Silicon Valley, Ca — for roundtable in High-tech, tourism. See here for blog.

Company Presentations:

  • Gretchen Daily, Natural Capital Project
  • Mary Ruckelshaus, Natural Capital Project
  • Audrey Davenport, Ecology Program Lead, Google
  • Chris Wellise, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Rosanne Foust, CEO, San Mateo County Economic Development Association

Government Presentations:

  • Ian Kalin, Chief Data Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce

Moderator:

  • Barton Thompson, Perry L. McCarty Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

 

National Summit, February 2, 2016, The World Bank Group/International Finance Corporation

  • Dennis Deziel, Director of Federal Government Affairs, Dow Chemical Company
  • Sophia Leonora Mendelsohn, Head of Sustainability, JetBlue Airways
  • Mark Gough, CEO, Natural Capital Coalition
  • Paula Caballero, Senior Director, Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank
  • Glenn-Marie Lange, Senior Environmental Economist, World Bank; Chief Technical Adviser, Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), World Bank Secretariat
  • Michael Cohen, Vice President, Government Affairs, RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.
  • Catherine McKalip-Thompson, Sustainability Lead, Bechtel Infrastructure

Government Presentations:

  • Tracy Rouleau, Deputy Chief Economist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Margaret Davidson, Senior Advisor for Coastal Inundation and Resilience Science and Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce

Moderator:

  • Michelle Lapinski, President, SustainBiz LLC
  • David McCauley, Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, World Wildlife Fund-US
  • Leah Karrer, Global Environment Facility

 

We hope you find this website helpful. We welcome your feedback as we continue to improve this new and dynamic website.

Sincerely,

U.S. Department of Commerce Natural Capital Steering Committee

Alis Asadurian, ESA

Holly Bamford, Assistant Administrator and Acting Assistant Secretary of NOAA

Joshua Barnes, EDA

Jane Callen, ESA

Robert Chapman, NIST

Sandra Cooke-Hull, ESA

*Sue Helper, former Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce

David Henry, ESA

Rachel Jacobson, NOAA

Lindsey Kraatz, NOAA (observer)

Josh Murphy, NOAA (observer)

Tracy Rouleau, Deputy Chief Economist, NOAA

Robert Rubinowitz, Deputy Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce

Jacqueline Savukinas, ESA

*Katya Wouk, formerly of NOAA

*David Yoskowitz, former Chief Economist, NOAA

*former member

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The U.S. Department of Commerce created and unveiled a natural capital website to provide resources and information to businesses seeking to incorporate natural capital into their planning and operations. Natural capital refers to the Earth’s stock of natural resources – air, water, soil, and living resources – that provide a range of goods and services on which the global economy depends.

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