2022 was our 30th year in business. We continued to develop our expertise, expand our team, and maintain our sense of curiosity and purpose. In many ways, we are just getting started!
With the growth of our team came the need for a larger office and we found our new home at Printing House Yard in May. We settled in with a mixture of decorating, social events, potluck lunches, and bring-your-dog-to-work days. We also spent a day out in Hampstead Heath helping with maintenance (and having a dip in the ponds).
A major highlight from our natural capital accounting work came in March, when we hosted an ecosystem accounting conference in Anguilla with funding from Darwin Plus. During this trip we launched the first regional account for the Caribbean Overseas Territories and advised local practitioners on how to continue producing accounts in the future.
We also expanded our involvement in investment for nature, producing our first two global investor property accounts, and assisting Defra on measuring the progress towards their private investment in nature target for England. Showcasing how natural capital accounts can be used to encourage investment, a baseline audit we did for the Tamar Valley AONB contributed to the reward of a £2.3m award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
In addition to producing natural capital accounts ourselves, we now also provide a natural capital accounts coaching service, helping clients like Northumbrian Water and Forestry England to ensure they are compliant with BS:8632:2021.
We don’t just use economic value evidence, we produce it, too. This year, we designed and implemented a novel study to elicit the public’s willingness to pay for species recovery programs. We explored ways to communicate biodiversity and settled on talking about the richness of habitats. The results of surveying 5000 people across England show that respondents hold different values depending on the habitat, scale, and degree of recovery. We hope we see less of the “nature is too complex for people to understand” excuse in the future!
2022 has also seen many developments in our work on chemicals policy. We collaborated with several industry clients to assess the impacts of possible changes to EU REACH, including through socioeconomic analysis on the many uses of PFAS, that we hope will be reflected in the restriction dossier. We are also pleased to have been involved in UK REACH through submitting Applications for Authorisation. And just this month, we’ve started leading a multidisciplinary team for Defra, working to develop a framework to measure and value the environmental impacts of chemicals pollution in the UK. This framework could have global applications and we hope it will improve how we manage and regulate chemicals in the future.
Finally, it has been exciting to provide evidence that has influenced international discussions and cooperation, such as ecosystem restoration at COP15 (with a follow up at Davos in January 2023), sustainable chemicals management for the UN, and listing Dechlorane Plus under the Stockholm Convention at the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee in Rome.
So…it has been a year full of change, progress, and purpose here at eftec. We’d like to thank our team, all our partners, our clients, and you for being here with us.
Have a restful festive season and let’s get back to doing it all again (and then some) in 2023!