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Principles of Integrated Capitals Assessments

Integrating natural, social, human and produced capital considerations provides organizations with a more holistic understanding of the system in which they operate, leading to better informed decisions with benefits across the capitals.

Capitals assessments undertaken by businesses can vary and may consider single or multiple capitals. Single capital assessments focus on one particular form of capital (natural, social, or human) and multi-capital assessments look at more than one capital. However, to understand the interconnections, trade-offs and synergies between all forms of capital, integrated thinking is needed. 

Recognizing this, we united the Natural Capital Coalition and the Social and Human Capitals Coalition in 2020 and developed the Principles of Integrated Capitals Assessments to drive this evolution.

The Principles of Integrated Capitals Assessments aim to provide guidance and consistency in how to apply a capitals approach through integrated thinking, ultimately moving towards a more standardized approach for integrated capitals assessments. 

The Principles should be applied by anyone conducting a capitals assessment in order to improve the information available to inform decisions. Although focused on internal decision-making, the decisions and outcomes influenced by capitals assessments are core to effective reporting and disclosure. 


This work has been led by James Spurgeon (Sustain Value), Phil Clarke (Consciam) and Stephanie Hime (Little Blue Research), on behalf of the Capitals Coalition with additional expert input kindly provided by Prof. Richard Barker (University of Oxford), Chris Brown (Olam), Ian Dickie (Eftec), Will Evison (PwC), Christian Heller (Value Balancing Alliance), Bianca Nijhof (Netherlands Water Partnership) and Carl Obst (IDEEA Group).

We are grateful to those who participated in the open consultation exercise.

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