The Natural Capital Protocol
Current decision-making processes do not adequately account for biodiversity and ecosystem services, apparent in the downward trends for many global indicators of environmental health. Globally, close to half of the largest economies are companies, and an increasing awareness of how businesses are degrading ecosystems has led to a plethora of new methodologies to value biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as increasing consumer and investor pressure to better account for and manage these risks. Resistance to this pressure is waning as CEOs are seeing the value proposition: opportunities to secure supply chains, differentiate from competitors with new products, and respond to shareholder calls for more holistic risk assessment and management. With overlapping methodologies, frameworks, and guidance forming the beginnings of a crowded and potentially confusing landscape, the Natural Capital Protocol aims to serve as ‘the’ standardised framework for businesses to measure and value natural capital, providing results to guide corporate decision-making. In this chapter, I explore the history and need for the Protocol, its structure and development, and some recent criticism of Natural Capital approaches.
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