In July of 2016, global business leaders welcomed the launch of the Natural Capital Protocol, a framework that will help businesses measure their reliance on nature and ecosystems.
The Protocol signals a shift in business practices: With nature officially accounted for on the balance sheet, companies can integrate the natural world into every decision they make.
Commenting on the launch, Natural Capital Coalition’s Executive Director Mark Gough put it simply: “Now we have a standardized framework; it is time for action.”
Gough is right: It’s time to put the Protocol to work. A natural capital approach allows companies to mitigate risk and capture new opportunities to create value for people, the planet, and their business—the proverbial “win-win-win.”
As the leader of Restore the Earth Foundation, an organization dedicated to restoring the Earth’s degraded landscapes, the launch of the Natural Capital Protocol comes as refreshing news. For too many years, the corporate responsibility movement has been overly focused on the risk side of the coin. With natural capital, it’s possible to broaden our vision and capture triple-win opportunities.
By investing in landscape-scale restoration—restoration that rebuilds ecological health and integrity at the ecosystem level—companies can generate outstanding benefits for people, the environment, and the economy. Restoration is about playing offense, not just defense, when it comes to our natural capital.
Photo of Mississippi River in Louisiana via Adobe Stock Photos