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Accounting for Natural Capital Report

Accounting frameworks for financial capital are fundamental tools for managing businesses and national economies. While robust accounting processes are available for financial capital, the natural resources which underpin business operations and economic activity are seldom considered in the same way. Natural capital accounting provides a means of managing these essential resources to maintain their inherent natural values and ensure the ongoing provision of benefits to business and society into the future.

There is currently no global standard for corporate natural capital accounting but methodologies are emerging from both private and public sectors. The public sector approach applies the UN SEEA (United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting) framework, and the overarching framework for the private sector is the Natural Capital Protocol. This paper aims to describe the progress in both public and private natural capital accounting, and explore potential synergies and gaps between them.

Following the publication of this paper, we have developed a further project, Transparent, with the aim of evolving the accounting system.

This paper was produced as part of our Government Dialogue on Natural Capital project.

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