Today we launch a free online business training course on the Coursera platform, supported by We Value Nature. You can register for the course here.
The course, ‘Valuing nature and people to inform business decision-making’, comes in response to increased demand from businesses and the finance sector for the knowledge and skills needed to apply natural capital assessments and a capitals approach more generally.
The course will introduce induviduals working in the private sector to the fundamental aspects of the capitals approach and provide guidance on where to start when adopting the approach within an organization. This course is introductory and no prior knowledge of natural, social or human capital is required.
The course provides a comprehensive introduction to the capitals approach and to undertaking a capitals assessment, and, while it is open to all, will be of specific relevance to those working across strategy, risk management, finance, procurement, accountancy, auditing, human resources and sustainability.
The material is covered in depth and will require time and commitment to complete.
The course consists of four modules and its structure follows the steps and stages of the internationally standardized Natural Capital Protocol and Social & Human Capital Protocol.
- Module 1 – The role of businesses in addressing the great challenges of nature loss, climate change and inequality
- Module 2 – Better managing risks and opportunities by adopting a capitals approach
- Module 3 – Getting started with a natural capital assessment: defining the objective and determining the appropriate scope
- Module 4 – Measuring and valuing impacts and dependencies to integrate natural capital in decision making
The course features business examples to demonstrate how and why businesses are integrating the value of natural, social & human capital impacts and dependencies into their decision-making and management practices.
The first two modules guide learners through risks and opportunities related to business relationships with nature, people and society, introduces the concept of a capitals approach, and highlights the business case for undertaking an integrated capitals assessment. The third and fourth modules focus specifically on the value of business impacts and dependencies natural capital and how to get started with a natural capital assessment. These modules guide learners along the scoping stage of the Natural Capital Protocol and introduce students to methods for measuring and valuing natural capital.
Future course specializations will build upon this introductory course, by providing additional content on social and human capital and allowing the learner to go more in depth with the content and application.
High-level speakers such as Net Positive World Movement founder and former Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Tyler Prize winner Gretchen Daily and business leaders from organizations such as Olam, Holcim, Novartis, Eosta, Liv Up and Yorkshire Water will share their advice and experiences to support you through the learning process.
The training course is dynamic and features videos from leaders in the field, interactive exercises, quizzes, readings and discussion prompts. The course has been built on the internationally recognized Coursera platform in collaboration with We Value Nature the consultancy Nature^Squared. Optional paid certificates of completion will be made available.
Hear what others are saying about the course:
“As organisations around the world continue to recognise the benefits of identifying and measuring the value they receive from the capitals, they are also running up against a lack of qualified professionals to help them to deliver this work. Thanks to this new course, built from years of experience , organizations are better equipped with the knowledge to make more informed decisions that deliver value for nature and people while addressing our collective challenges of climate change, nature loss and rising inequity.”
– Mark Gough, CEO, Capitals Coalition
‘The pandemic has been a wake-up call about our current economic model. We now see more clearly that human and planetary health are in fact deeply connected and that we must start living within our planetary boundaries. Simply, we cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. Nor healthy people on an unhealthy planet. It’s time to change the way we define growth. Now more than ever we need business to be part of the solution for a sustainable future.‘
– Paul Polman, business leader, campaigner, Co-Author of Net Positive
“We need companies to move from commitments to action. However, we know that the tools to do this are scarce and the necessary knowledge can be hard to find. The training directly addresses this gap. Leaders and managers should acknowledge the need, and invest time in building capacity – here is a way to do it”
– Cristianne Close, Global Markets Practice Leader, WWF International
“The old triple bottom line ‘People, Planet, Profit’ is dead. In the new normal, costs & benefits related to people & planet are integral part of our profit definition.”
– Volkert Engelsmann, CEO, Eosta
“Businesses should operate with nature at their hearts to preserve and restore natural resources. Measuring impacts in a science-driven way is key to integrating actions and targets into the core of company strategy. Delivering a nature-positive future is a critical role for businesses to take today. This course provides the foundations to do it”.
– Magali Anderson, Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer, Holcim
“Businesses rely on many different types of capital, yet these are often overlooked or undervalued in traditional financial accounting. This essential course introduces the basis for an integrated capitals approach, helping businesses to recognize the diverse sources of value on which they depend, and focus on what really matters.”
– Phillip Blaen, Sustainability Manager, Yorkshire Water
“This new business training course brings together the resources and ideas the We Value Nature team has been working on for over three years. Combined with the knowledge and expertise of the Capitals Coalition, it will help businesses turn pledges and ambition for nature into action.”
– Guy Duke, Project Director, We Value Nature
“Essential for entrepreneurs who want to apply nature, social and human capitals in the decision-making process. No matter the size of the company, a starting point is always needed and this course gives it to you.”
– Beta tester