A global collaboration redefining value to transform decision making
The capitals approach
The capitals – natural capital, social capital, human capital and produced capital – form the foundation of human wellbeing and economic success.
By understanding how they impact and depend on the capitals, organizations can make holistic decisions that create value for nature, people and society alongside businesses and the economy.
What is capital?
Capital has traditionally been thought of only as money, but capital describes any resource or asset that stores or provides value to people.
Natural capital, social capital and human capital work in much the same way as traditional capital – if we invest in them they create value, and if we degrade them we limit their value.
From impact to dependency
A capitals approach moves beyond considering only how we impact on the capitals to also highlighting how we depend on them.
This shift in mindset contextualizes our relationships with the capitals and helps to illustrate a clear business case for their protection and investment in their health and resilience.
From measurement to valuation
Understanding the value provided by the capitals further highlights the significance of our dependencies and enables us to include their value when we make decisions.
The value illuminated by a capitals approach can be economic, social, environmental, cultural or spiritual and can be expressed in qualitative or quantitative terms.
From silos to systems
A holistic systems approach sits at the heart of a capitals approach. Nature, people, society and the economy must be recognized as parts within a deeply interconnected global system and addressed together to deliver value across the capitals.
The Capitals Coalition develops, advocates for and advances the capitals approach. We work with organizations and individuals spanning global systems to understand the value that flows from the capitals and to ensure that it is included in decision-making. The Capitals Coalition accelerates momentum, leverages success, connects powerful and engaged communities and identifies the areas, projects and partnerships where we can collaboratively drive transformational change.
0+Organizations at the core
The Coalition has developed two internationally recognized and standardized frameworks that provide organizations with tools to identify, measure and value their impacts and dependencies on natural capital, social capital and human capital to inform their decision-making.
As well as developing sector-specific and supplementary guidance to the Protocols, the Capitals Coalition convenes a diverse global community of leaders and spearheads global programs to ensure that the value of nature, people and society sits alongside financial value in the minds of decision-makers.
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