Sustainability consultancy Accelar launches 'nature finance hub'

05 November 2021 2 min. read
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A new Nature Finance Impact Hub has been launched by consultants at Accelar. Coinciding with the landmark COP26 conference, the hub aims to build market confidence in the profitability of sustainability projects – and accelerate the greening of the economy in the process.

Accelar Co-founder Chris Fry explained, “The Impact Hub quantifies how innovative, nature-positive projects can deliver return on investment alongside significant benefits for biodiversity, decarbonisation, water management and eco-tourism.”

The new initiative is being launched as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference is currently being held in the city of Glasgow, under the presidency of the UK. However, after days of lofty speeches, prophesising the collapse of the ecosystem civilisation relies upon for survival, doubts about meaningful pledges persist – with concerns about the affordability of dodging a climate collapse at the heart of them.

Nature Finance Impact Hub

While governments drag their heels according to such concerns, the private sector is also proving slow to shift toward sustainability. At present, only 5% of Europe’s largest businesses are on target to hit net-zero emissions by 2050 – but a mounting body of evidence suggests their caution may actually be costing them new customers. A recent study also showed that 33% of UK consumers are prepared to pay more for sustainable products and services.

Looking to further challenge the perceived unprofitability of green business, Accelar’s Nature Finance Hub aims to encourage investors to help accelerate the move to a sustainable economy. This is particularly in relation to nature-based solutions that are key parts of the UN’s current biodiversity and climate conferences.

The lack of comparable data about the performance of nature-positive projects means investors are still reluctant to back new projects in this sector. However, the Nature Finance Impact Hub will address this by providing instant access to data and benchmarks from existing projects, using comparable financial and environmental metrics. West Midlands-centred sustainability scale-up Accelar developed it in collaboration with the UK green finance community.

Fry added, “It is still relatively early days, but with fast growing interest in this area we look forward to working with the financial and environmental communities so that insightful data can be shared. We hope that this will contribute to a snowball effect, encouraging investment in nature to expand rapidly in the future.”

Accelar’s Nature Finance Impact Hub is available free at online. For the initial launch, the hub already contains data on projects from nine countries, covering 11 different kinds of societal benefits from nature, which are known as ecosystem services. Over 40% of the projects address either biodiversity or carbon as an ecosystem service. The diversity built into the hub also enables many other ways of generating revenue and benefiting nature to be highlighted.