Working with Natural Capital

NEWS: Natural Capital Protocol Training.

eftec and Sustain Value announce 2-day Training Course: Getting Value from the Natural Capital Protocol, London, September 2016 icon NCP Training

The Natural Capital Protocol (NCP) is a standardised framework for business to measure and value its direct and indirect impacts and dependencies on natural capital. The aim of the NCP is to enable business to assess and better manage their interactions with natural capital. We are teaming up with Sustain Value to offer the first training course on how to use the NCP. The training will be delivered by eftec Directors and James Spurgeon of Sustain Value who all are amongst the authors of the Protocol, and of the literature it builds on. The training will provide an overview of the Protocol, with an emphasis on its materiality assessment, measurement and valuation steps, informing the use of economic valuation methods and interpretation of economic value evidence.

Natural Capital

Natural capital refers to the stock of natural assets upon which our economies and societies are built. Like other forms of capital, natural capital produces value for people in the form of ‘goods’ (e.g. timber, fish stocks, minerals) and ‘services’ (e.g. water provision, air purification, flood prevention).

As our demands on the natural world increase, so do the risks and opportunities facing supply chains, investment decisions, land use and every other aspect of business management.

Ultimately, decisions need to be made: be proactive in managing natural capital for the future, or do nothing and remain vulnerable to external forces.

The benefits of successfully managing natural capital are no different to good management of other types of capital. We can assist this process and help our clients to become as familiar with natural capital as they are with other forms of capital. 

  • Right tools for the job
  • Natural capital for business
  • Natural capital for the public sector and NGOs
  • Examples of our Natural Capital work
  • Right tools for the job

    Successful management of Natural Capital involves knowing what questions to ask and applying the right approaches to gain useful answers. For example:

  • How much of the value of a business relies on natural capital?
  • How much ought to be spent to maintain the quantity and quality of natural capital?
  • What are the effects of different conservation measures?
  • What are the policy priorities for public investment in natural capital given macro trends?
  • Answering these questions and others takes time and expertise. That’s where we can help. We understand that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’. So we offer help with understanding, valuing and accounting for natural capital that can be tailored to any organisation, in any sector. This set of services brings together our 22 years of experience in understanding, demonstrating and capturing economic values:

    Understanding the value of natural capital – taking stock of the existing state of natural capital and highlighting critical risks:

  • Asset health check
  • Scoping studies
  • Research summaries
  • Valuing natural capital – using appropriate valuation techniques to provide insights into the productive value of natural assets:

  • Collecting monetary value data
  • Using monetary data from literature
  • Physical metrics and qualitative assessment
  • Investment appraisal
  • Accounting for natural capital - measuring, recording and presenting useful information in formats that aid the improved management of natural capital

  • Environmental Profit & Loss
  • Natural capital balance sheet
  • Triple bottom line
  • Stock & flow accounts
  • National accounts
  • For specific examples of our work in this area please visit our projects page and search for keyword ‘natural capital’.

    Natural capital for business

    Understanding and managing natural capital is now a prominent business concern and there are significant gains to be had from adopting good practice and making the right decisions.

    Here are some examples of how thinking about natural capital can help a business:

    • Strategy and planning: understanding opportunities to enhance the long-term value of natural capital, improve investment decisions and help ensure sustainability of current and new business;
    • Performance and risk management: addressing the risks posed by changes in natural capital to supply chains, own capital base, resources, liabilities, reputation and customer base;
    • Reporting and engagement: supporting CSR obligations, providing enhanced information for investors and other stakeholders;
    • Governance and compliance: supporting internal systems for streamlining compliance with environmental legislation, and anticipating future requirements;
    You can download our leaflet icon Natural Capital Leaflet for more information on how we can assist your business in this journey.
    For specific examples of our work in this area please visit our projects page and search for keyword ‘natural capital’.

    Natural capital for the public sector and NGOs

    Natural capital is an important consideration, not just for those organisations traditionally concerned with environmental issues, but for all organisations that own or utilise natural capital. In addition, natural capital will play an increasingly important role in the development of all public policy.

    Natural capital approaches can be used for:

    • Conservation: providing useful measures and values to assist in improved effectiveness and efficiency of conservation management;
    • Communication: a powerful tool for communicating the benefits of conservation work to a broad range of stakeholders;
    • Raising finance: placing a value on natural capital in monetary terms  improves understanding with the finance community, so helping make the case for funding;
    • Monitoring/National accounting: recent developments in measuring and accounting for natural capital are informing trends in the state of natural capital;
    • Policy development: understanding natural capital issues is vital for the appropriate development of policy (e.g. environmental regulation, etc.);
    Example case studies include:
    • Natural capital arguments and evidence are being used by Surrey Local Nature Partnership as a communication tool to help promote sustainable use of the environment and enhancement of biodiversity and ecosystems, with local decision makers and the business community;
    • We are supporting the UK government in developing national accounts for two important habitat types; woodlands and the marine environment.
    For specific examples of our work in this area please visit our projects page and search for keyword ‘natural capital’.

    Examples of our Natural Capital Work

     Click icon Natural Capital Investment Plans  to view a recent presentation at the NAAONB's Landscapes for Life conference.