What is Natural Capital?
Natural Capital is the value of nature. It can be defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets that we benefit from.
Negative impacts on nature cost the economy world-wide around $4.7 trillion a year.
Why does natural capital matter to business?
Natural Capital matters because every single business in the world not only impacts on nature, but relies on it. So the degradation of ecosystems that is happening today means risks now and in the future for companies that don’t recognize how and why natural capital is material for them. Where there is risk, there is opportunity – to secure natural resources, to save costs, to manage future risks and engage stakeholders through the value chain. Read more.
The benefits that inland wetlands bring to water quality are worth up to £1.5billion per year to the UK.
What are companies actually doing about natural capital?
Many companies are already taking Natural Capital seriously. But tackling company impacts and dependencies on nature is both exciting and overwhelming. Exciting because it’s new and shows huge potential in how we can make better decisions for business, society and ecosystems by valuing nature. Overwhelming because it’s new and it’s complex and we’re all on a steep learning curve of how to account for nature in business.
What tools can companies use?
Right now, there is not one approach that has been adopted by most companies. This is why the TEEB for Business Coalition’s members, including WBCSD, are leading an effort to harmonize efforts around assessing, valuing and accounting for business impacts and dependencies on natural capital. We’re calling it the Natural Capital Protocol.
But still a number of tools exist that can be of used today. For example, Eco4Biz helps companies navigate through which ones might help them.
Who’s behind the video?
Led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (wbcsd), a whole bunch of organizations joined forces to produce the video:
We would also like to thank valuable contributions throughout the project from Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), International Finance Corporation (IFC), UNEP-World Monitoring Conservation Centre (WCMC) and World Economic Forum (WEF), as well as two companies that guided us throughout the process – AkzoNobel and The Dow Chemical Company, which was great.
Why a shoe?
It was a tough call to decide on what product or process to go with. We agreed on a shoe because:
- We wanted the video to resonate with as many different businesses as possible. Shoe production covers many industries – from agriculture and forests, to manufacturing, to extractives.
- Most people need to – and do - wear shoes.
- PUMA has already published estimated costs of environmental impacts of some of its shoes, so we could use a real dollar figure that TruCost’s team kindly checked for us.
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