Measuring natural capital
Raleigh, North Carolina, US
As part of a consortium led by the WBCSD, I am helping to develop the Natural Capital Protocol (NCP) sponsored by The Natural Capital Coalition.
The goal of the NCP is to provide guidance to companies about where, how and when natural capital assessments can be applied successfully in decision making. The NCP, along with sector-level guidance, will be released in mid-2016.
There is a growing interest from companies for more clarity about how best to measure and value natural capital – defined by the Coalition as “the stock of natural resources (e.g., ecosystems, species, air, water, land, soil, etc.) from which people can derive benefits” – and how to incorporate natural capital, and potential effects on it, into internal decision-making.
There are many different approaches and publications on the topic, which makes it difficult for our clients to develop the best approach to meet their specific needs. The NCP will help bring clarity to the topic.
ERM is developing a number of initiatives to help clients understand the value the NCP can provide. Through webinars, white papers and other methods, we are building a knowledge base of the innovative tools and techniques that are available to help companies with natural capital management decision-making.
Natural capital management is the essence of sustainability as I see it, as the goal is to go beyond collecting and reporting environmental metrics to providing clients with new opportunities to improve long-term profitability.