The NatCap Checker
Natural Capital thinking helps organizations to make more informed decisions that conserve and enhance the natural capital we all depend upon. We therefore need confidence in the information produced by natural capital assessments.
The Natural Capital Checker (NatCap Checker) provides practitioners with a self-assessment tool that enables them to assess, communicate and improve the level of confidence in their natural capital assessments.
The Checker helps organizations to evaluate how credible and fit for purpose their assessments are, and therefore the level of confidence that stakeholders can place in the process, results, and ultimately the decisions taken based on a natural capital assessment
The NatCap Checker builds on assurance practice and the experience of those who have been applying natural capital approaches. It is aligned with the Natural Capital Protocol’s four Principles; Relevance, Rigor, Replicability and Consistency.
It is comprised of two parts; The Robustness Tool and The Maturity Tool.
The Robustness Tool
The Robustness Tool is the primary tool and enables users to assess, communicate and, if necessary, improve the robustness and therefore credibility of their natural capital assessment process and results.
The tool guides practitioners through a series of questions about their assessment, mapping the responses against the four Principles of the Natural Capital Protocol. It is important to acknowledge that the maximum level of confidence will not always be desired or appropriate, and this is reflected in the tool.
The Robustness Tool should be prepared by one person and validated by another.
- A ‘preparer’ – someone who has detailed knowledge of the natural capital assessment and can answer the questions such as what data was used and the valuation methods selected.
- A ‘validator’ – an independent party who can validate how the preparer has answered the questions and check that the principles have been applied.
The Maturity Tool
The Maturity Tool is a complimentary tool that allows users to assess how ‘mature’ an assessment is and to help to outline potential areas for next steps or blind spots (where robustness will need to be developed).
Natural capital assessments often start out with a reduced scope in order to pilot how these concepts can be implemented across a business. It is expected that earlier in an organizations application of a natural capital approach they will be at the ‘First Steps’ or ‘Developing’ end of the scale.
As expertise and robustness develop over time, an organization may look to scale up their assessments and progress to the more mature end of the scale. This is designed to be a useful tool to assess what an organization has done, and how their assessment can progress.
As an organization takes steps to advance their maturity they will need to check that their assessment maintains an appropriate level of robustness, to retain stakeholder confidence in its results.