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The Natural Capital Protocol: Why You Should Care About Its Release

September 30, 2016 |

A photo by Nicolò Di Giovanni.


This article was originally posted on Ecosystems + Biodiversity Network

“What Is the Protocol?

Natural capital is defined as the earth’s stock of natural assets. These assets can be renewable and non-renewable resources, including; air, soil, forests, and water, to name a few. The benefits people derive from the combined flow of natural capital have been coined ecosystem services.

Some companies have begun tracking natural capital on their balance sheet or as part of their corporate sustainability reporting strategy. There are many more companies that want to take on a similar initiative, but don’t have access to the appropriate tools to do so.

On July 13, 2016 the Natural Capital Coalition (NCC) released the Natural Capital Protocol. The protocol was developed for businesses that want to include natural capital reporting into their business strategy but don’t know where to begin. It aims to help businesses identify, track and measure their impacts and dependencies on natural capital in a systematic and credible way.

Why Is It Important?

Most environmental reporting schemes focus on the impacts a company may have on the natural environment. While this is justified and important in its own right, it’s only half of the equation. As the world becomes more populated, the natural resources businesses depend on to make the products we consume become more scarce. Businesses must mitigate the risks associated with resource scarcity to ensure their businesses can continue production long into the future. By ignoring their dependence on a healthy ecosystem, future supply chains may become more expensive or they may not exist at all. Identifying these risks and opportunities early on will lead to more informed strategic planning decisions. Early adoption can also identify data gaps that can be filled with future research initiatives to ensure the company is on a sustainable path…”

Read on at: Ecosystems + Biodiversity Network

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