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“You don’t always know what you’ve got until it’s gone, but a new tool is helping businesses appreciate the natural resources they use.

The Natural Capital Protocol provides a standardised system for measuring and valuing the natural resources that businesses rely on, particularly in New Zealand.

The new framework was launched globally last month, and companies in the Sustainable Business Council (SBC) network are now beginning the work of testing and modifying the tools to suit New Zealand businesses.

Council chief executive Abbie Reynolds says that unless there is a way of valuing natural capital – everything from bee pollination to soil and water – it’s difficult to know how to respond best if it’s under threat.

She gives the example of clean water, which in most instances is free or costs very little. “That’s actually not a very useful signal in terms of how we design our business models,” she says.

“The cost versus the disproportionate impact, they’re out of whack. So that’s part of the reason we’re so keen on the Natural Capital Protocol, because it will help our members and people who use it to consistently start to think about how they value these things, because at the moment we know it’s important but we haven’t got a way of feeding that into our business models…””

Read on at: The New Zealand Herald