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Capital Business, Naturally: The Launch of the Natural Capital Protocol

August 04, 2016 |

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K Magazine on the need for a Natural Capital Protocol.

“Launched at a conference in London in July, the Natural Capital Protocol’s mission is to aid the shift towards a world where business puts a value on nature. Turns out, human and social capital are equally important, as our K magazine reporter found out.

As obvious as it seems, there is a fundamental fact about the world that we seem to be ignoring: that nature is what makes human life possible. The world’s resources: air, water, soil – every living being depends on them, but they’re being denuded at an alarming speed.

Kering, Natural Capital Protocol

We also tend to forget that businesses cannot survive without nature. But natural capital has been difficult to measure. Since 2010, Kering has been working on an Environmental Profit & Loss account (more on this later). And there’s now a new initiative called the Natural Capital Protocol, which was officially launched on 13 July at the London Institute of Chartered Accountants. The conference gathered leaders from Nestlé, Burberry, Shell, Walmart, WWF, Tata, the World Bank, government officials from the European Commission, NGOs and academics from Cambridge University – as well as Kering.

Four years ago executives of leading corporations met with directors from the fields of conservation and science to look at the impact businesses are having on the planet’s natural resources, both positive and negative. This meeting evolved into the Natural Capital Coalition. In its own words, the Protocol offers ‘a standardised framework to identify, measure and value impacts and dependencies on natural capital’.

The members of the Coalition realised something practical needed to be done – and fast. The World Wildlife Fund has repeatedly stated that around half of the world’s forests have disappeared, taking the same proportion of the animal population with it. This depletion of natural resources has serious repercussions on businesses. To avoid these losses they must understand what is happening along their supply chains; NGOs, stakeholders and consumers are increasingly demanding this information too…”

Read on at: K Magazine

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