This article was originally published on Cultivating Capital.
“Natural capital is continually providing us with something of value, whether it is the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, or the raw materials that we use in our products.
The problem is that we have not traditionally placed a financial value on these natural resources. By not placing a financial value on them, it became easy to destroy forests, pollute rivers, endanger species and habitats, and otherwise plunder our natural resources.
Now, however, we are starting to recognize the value of natural capital.
In fact, one early study estimated that the value of natural capital worldwide is $33 trillion per year. In 2008, humans destroyed $6.6 trillion worth of natural capital – equivalent to 11% of the global GDP. The top 3,000 companies by market capitalization were responsible for $2.15 trillion in environmental costs.
Unfortunately, under our current economic system, these costs are externalized, which means that while these companies caused this damage, they are not footing the bill for it. In many cases, it is the local communities and taxpayers that ultimately pay the price.
….You may eventually begin accounting for natural capital in your business by using the Natural Capital Protocol, a framework designed to help businesses better manage natural capital….”
Read on at: Cultivating Capital.