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The Natural Capital Protocol is a decision-making framework that enables organisations to identify, measure and value their direct and indirect impacts and dependencies on natural capital.

All organizations to varying degrees are dependent on the health of the natural world. Organizations also impact on nature’s health, both positively and negatively.

Understanding the complex and dynamic relationships that organizations have with the health of natural assets and the ecosystem services they provide enables organizations to make more informed decisions. A capitals approach empowers organizations to deliver benefits their employees, society, the broader economy and the natural world alongside their businesses.

Download the Protocol

Download the Natural Capital Protocol to explore your impacts and dependencies on natural capital.

Click here for translations and here for the Primer for business.

Without an understanding of their impacts and dependencies on natural capital, many decision-makers will be unaware of potentially significant risks and opportunities and will therefore be at least partly ‘flying blind’.

Consequently, they can make decisions that are inefficient, ineffective or damaging. A capitals approach broadens the quantity and quality of business-relevant information available to decision-makers. Traditionally the value of natural capital has, for the most part, been excluded from decision-making. Even when included, methods have been inconsistent, open to interpretation, limited to moral arguments or based on an incomplete understanding of organizational relationships to natural capital.

The Natural Capital Protocol responds to this gap by offering an internationally standardized framework for the identification, measurement and valuation of impacts and dependencies on natural capital in order to inform organizational decisions.

The Protocol Framework explores 4 Stages broken down into 9 Steps which contain questions to be answered when integrating the value of natural capital into organizational processes.

Although set out in a linear way, the Protocol is iterative and allows users to adjust and adapt their approach as they progress through the framework.

The Protocol Framework covers 4 stages centred around the questions: Why? What? How? and What Next?

The Natural Capital Protocol is applicable within any business sector to organizations of all sizes and in all operational geographies.

The Protocol is also applicable at multiple organizational levels and scopes, for example at a product, project or organizational level.

It allows you to measure, value and integrate natural capital impacts and dependencies into existing business processes such as risk mitigation, sourcing, supply chain management and product design.

The Protocol is focused on informing business decision-making. The decisions you make will help to define and deliver against your strategy which can then flow into your external disclosure and stakeholder engagement.

Protocol Development

The Natural Capital Protocol was developed collaboratively by 38 organizations and went through a public consultation where it received over 3,200 comments from organizations and individuals around the world.

Explore the Social & Human Capital Protocol

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