Natural capital catching on

2nd February 2015

Corporate awareness of natural capital is growing, with four companies in the FTSE 100 now using the term in their latest annual reports, compared with only two a year ago, according to consultancy PwC.

It also reports that more than a quarter of the FTSE 100 mention biodiversity or ecosystems in their reports, but rarely with a view to potential value creation or value at risk.

The number of companies that include information on natural capital in sustainability reports is higher than in annual accounts; seven refer to it specifically and nearly half mention biodiversity or ecosystems. But even among these, recognition of natural capital as a vital business asset is rare, says Will Evison assistant director of environmental economics at PwC.

To raise the number of firms reporting on these issues, a framework and guidance on corporate natural capital accounting has been developed by PwC, together with eftec and the RSPB, and is being promoted by the Natural Capital Committee (NCC). The tool helps businesses to identify the natural capital assets that are the most important to its operations; how much of the value of an organisation relies on natural capital; and how much it might change in the future.

Meanwhile, in its third and final report before its abolition, the NCC calls on the government to demonstrate how it plans to fund its ambition to leave the natural environment in a better state than it inherited, and suggests dividing responsibilities between the private and public sectors. “Government controls many of the levers, be they taxes, subsidies or legislation, and will therefore be instrumental in ensuring the right incentives are in place. However, the private sector and civil society also have a significant part to play because they own or are ultimately responsible for the majority of natural assets,” the report states.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Weather damage insurance claims hit record high

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close