This article was originally published on EY Reporting.


“The Natural Capital Coalition was set up in November 2012 to raise awareness within the corporate world of how businesses both affect their environment and depend on it. “We’re not a body, we’re a space in between people who are doing lots of brilliant things,” is how Executive Director Mark Gough describes the Coalition’s activities. “We’re the link that allows them to collaborate.”

Around 270 organizations make up the core coalition and they represent seven distinct groups known as “worlds.” These worlds are:

  • Businesses (which make up around 50% of the membership)
  • Governments and policy-makers
  • NGOs and conservation bodies
  • Professional associations, including accountancy bodies and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • The finance community
  • Science and academia
  • Standard setters, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the IIRC

The Coalition is supported by a secretariat that facilitates collaboration and outreach and coordinates expert input into different projects.

Its first project was to create the Natural Capital Protocol, a framework for identifying, measuring and valuing impacts and dependencies on natural capital. This evolved out of the 40 or so different private sector approaches that were in use prior to the Coalition’s foundation. Within the first 18 months of the Protocol being launched in July 2016, around 35,000 copies of it were circulating. Daily says of the Coalition’s work to date: “They’ve done a great job of bringing along a broad community.”

Gough says the Protocol is important because it is a tool for embedding natural capital in decision-making processes. “Most of the things we’ve done within the sustainability movement are around measurement,” he explains. “Measurement is great because it gives you numbers, but to actually apply those numbers, you need to understand value. Value is the relative importance and worth of something to you. When people see that their business is dependent, for example, on clean air, water, or a certain type of workforce, they realize that they need to invest in these areas to make sure the business runs.”…”

Read on at: EY Reporting.