The Natural Capital Protocol

trees, image from Pexels

In July of this year, the Natural Capital Coalition - a consortia for business, accountancy, consultancy, financial institutions, and NGOs (formerly known as the TEEB for Business Coalition) - will launch the Natural Capital Protocol - a system for mainstreaming natural capital, that could potential transform how your business operates and reports.

Altus Impact is a Coalition Organisation and directly contributed to the consultation of the draft Protocol. As a Coalition Organisation we are provided with excellent insight into the direction the Protocol is heading and how it can be applied to your business.

The Protocol aims to provide a comprehensive framework for businesses to understand their impacts and dependencies on natural resources and ecosystems and "to enable better measurement, management, reporting and disclosure".

Human enterprise relies on 'natural capital' in countless direct and indirect ways, whether it is a farmer's dependence on insects for pollination and water for irrigation and livestock, or the downstream impacts of business's waste material, greenhouse gases or air pollution.

With some notable exceptions, most of these dependencies and impacts are not quantified, nor reported. When not quantified, it can be assumed these inputs and dependencies are considered free. When they are considered free, they are generally used unsustainably.

The intention of the Protocol, and its accompanying sector guidelines, is to become an open source, global multi-stakeholder framework for understanding, measuring and valuing the impacts and dependencies on the natural environment, as well as understanding the risks and opportunities presented for businesses when natural capital is accounted for in business decision making.

The protocol will serve as the basis for future standard setting and methodologies in this field.

Some big-hitting corporations are part of the Coalition putting the Protocol together, including - importantly - the 'Big Four' global audit firms.

What is nature's worth to your business

Does your business contribute to a more inclusive, greener and resilient economy?

Altus Impact can put your company at the forefront of sustainability leadership by helping you integrate nature's values into your operations using the Natural Capital Protocol.

Find out more

Why the Protocol is relevant to your business

With the Big Four audit companies all signed-up, the Natural Capital Protocol is likely to become the standard methodology for mainstreaming natural capital accounting and assessing impacts, influencing the policy and financial regulatory landscape into the future.

But the Protocol is not just a big (albeit voluntarily wielded) stick with which to beat big corporations. Nor is it just a greenwashing tool. From SMEs to multinationals, your organisation could benefit from undertaking a natural capital assessment.

Altus Impact can assist your organisation:

  • reduce input costs for greater efficiently;
  • reduce waste disposal costs;
  • save on input costs by deploying green infrastructure;
  • motivate new clients and customers;
  • demonstrate and maintain your social licence to operate;
  • reduce current regulatory liabilities, such as carbon taxes and permits;
  • identify potential liabilities from future policy changes;
  • identify natural capital impacts on third party operations, which could yield litigation risks;
  • identify natural capital input risks from environmental changes and natural hazards;
  • normalise concepts, such as biodiversity offsetting and emissions trading into your business.

Contact Altus Impact to understand more how a natural capital assessment could benefit your business.

What is natural capital

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