This article was originally published on Mining Weekly.
“The recently released Natural Capital Protocol promises to give business a new appreciation of the ecosystem services on which they rely, states independent engineering and scientific consultancy SRK Consulting. The protocol was developed by a global multistakeholder group representing business, finance, accounting, conservation, academia and policymakers.
SRK Consulting South Africa environmental scientist Paul Jorgensen explains that the protocol offers a standardising framework for organisations to identify, measure and value their impacts and dependences on natural capital, thereby creating new opportunities for value creation. “Natural capital is really the foundation of our economies and societies, as it encompasses and enables the other four ‘capitals’, namely social, human, manufactured and financial capital,” he states.
Jorgensen elaborates that this is why some of the world’s largest companies, such as Coca-Cola, Dow, Nestle, Shell and Tata, are members of the Natural Capital Coalition, which generated the protocol.
…Jorgensen comments that the protocol is a framework that helps business to practically focus on the natural capital inherent in the surrounding environments, allowing a closer integration of sustainability thinking into business missions and strategies. “For instance, while mines are generally familiar with the impacts they have on the environment around them, most do not really appreciate how dependent their operations are upon the ‘services’ this ecological infrastructure provides,” he says…”