Leading firms considering natural capital

10th April 2013

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  • Natural resources ,
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  • Corporate governance



Companies are adopting a more strategic approach to natural capital to offset the risks posed by degrading ecosystems services and resource scarcity, according to a new study

The research was carried out for TEEB, the global initiative focusing on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity.

The study of 26 companies – 60% with revenues of at least $10 billion – highlights how each one is working to make “natural capital management” an integral part of its business in the next three years, to ensure they can compete in a resource-constrained world.

The findings suggest that firms are on track to raise internal awareness of the business benefits of managing natural capital within 18 months. They expect to begin implementing projects and policies related to ecosystems services in the next two years, says the report.

Access to natural resources and ecosystems services are to become increasingly important to the success of their business, say participants, with access to fresh water and renewable energy predicted to be of high or critical importance within five years.

The study also reveals that the biggest barriers to incorporating natural capital into decision-making processes lie in clearly identifying its relevance to the business.

The lack of agreed methods to measure and prioritise natural capital compound this problem, states the report.

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