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Integrating Natural Capital Into Business Practice

December 05, 2016 |


This report is a product of VNO-NCW and IUCN The Netherlands.

“Companies that want insight into their relationship with natural capital are increasingly using the Natural Capital Protocol. Over a short period, this Protocol has become an indispensable tool for the clarification, measurement and evaluation of this relationship.

The Protocol consists of nine steps a company should take when assessing its impact and dependence on natural capital. The objective is to enable companies to assess their direct and indirect interactions with natural capital, to allow better management and participation in business decisions. The NCP is applicable in all sectors. The Protocol was established earlier this year, following an international process with the participation of companies, governments, research institutes and NGOs. The editors did not want to develop yet another new instrument, says Mark Gough, director of the Natural Capital Coalition. “The NCP harmonizes existing approaches and systems.” According to Gough, the strong point of the NCP is that it helps companies make better decisions. “Most managers want to leave the world a better place, but they have to work with standards and systems that are difficult to compare, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and ISO standards. The NCP can help them with this”.

“…Coenraad Krijger, Director of IUCN The Netherlands, wants much more. “In the coming period, consideration of natural capital needs to move from the CSR managers to the boardrooms.” Like Oudshoorn he is convinced of the importance of the Natural Capital Protocol presented last year. Krijger calls it “a potential game changer.” Oudshoorn agrees with this. “Companies need to know the facts about their own environmental footprints. The Protocol makes this possible, and companies can now take action on that basis. We will recommend this to our members, and it should be done internationally as well. The Natural Capital Protocol should become a European Agreement.””

Download the report here.

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