Natural capital

DEFINITION: The elements of the natural environment that provide valuable goods and functions such as clean air, clean water, food and recreation. Natural capital accounting puts a value on these resouerces. Each year, the planet produces up to $72trn worth of 'free' goods and services that are essential to a well-functioning global economy.

Related items

The “Terra Carta” outlines ten areas of action for businesses looking to respond to the scale of the interconnected climate and nature crises 

Banking giants unite with Prince of Wales on financial net-zero taskforce

The Prince of Wales' Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) has announced that executives from the likes of Bank of America, BNP Paribas, NatWest and Lloyds have joined on as members of a new Financial Services Task Force aiming to create a net-zero investor sector.

The report outlines policy recommendations spanning from nature restoration to using hydrogen in heavy industry 

Green recovery: MPs call for VAT breaks for energy efficiency, electric vehicles and circular economy

MPs are urging Boris Johnson's Government to take a broader "green recovery" approach, going beyond low-carbon electricity and transport to provide policy supports for nature restoration and the circular economy.

WATCH: Dame Polly Courtice's inspiring Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech

Dame Polly Courtice delivered a galvanising call to action for future business leaders as part of her Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech at edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2021 Wednesday afternoon (3 February), claiming "this is the generation that still has time to change everything for the better".

The Dasgupta Review was commissioned by HM Treasury and lays out key recommendations to reversing manmade declines in biodiversity 

Landmark review calls for nature to be included in economic decision making

A new landmark review has been launched today (2 February), outlining how businesses and policymakers can include and account for nature as part of economic decisions, with many claiming the findings could be as influential as the Stern review on climate change.

The green economy has welcomed the review with open arms

As influential as the Stern Review: Green economy reacts to the Dasgupta biodiversity study

A new landmark review, commissioned by the Government, has suggested that services provided by nature should be assigned an economic value that is used to inform future policy decisions, a move that has been unanimously welcomed by green groups.

Pictured (L-R): Dieter Helm, Kirsty Hamilton and Joan Edwards. 

New Years Honours 2021: The sustainability champions on the Queen's list

The outstanding achievements of dozens of people working across the UK's environmental sphere have been recognised by the Queen in this year's New Year's Honours list. Read on to find out more about the newly-awarded scientists, policy experts, green finance champions and conservationists.

The NCC claims that the state of nature in the UK has not improved since 2011

Natural Capital Committee: Environment Bill updates must stop businesses destroying nature

The UK Government must "urgently" help large businesses to value the natural resources in their value chains and to promote conservation and restoration at scale, the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has concluded.

Mike Townsend, founder and chief executive of Earthshine Group, summarises the net-zero journey

Towards net-zero: Are we really the smartest of monkeys?

Setting the scene for edie's upcoming Net-Zero November month of themed content and events, sustainable business expert and commentator Mike Townsend takes a thought-provoking look at the various drivers, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for businesses on our pathway towards a net-zero carbon, circular economy.

The Conservative Party risks failing to deliver on its overarching pledge to improve nature for the next generation, the report warns

Natural Capital Committee: UK failing on promise to leave nature better for the next generation

The quality of the UK's soil, freshwater and marine habitats has declined in recent years, meaning that the Government is likely to fail to meet its long-term environmental promises without a step-change in action.

Greta Thunberg and other youth activists have vocally criticized the decision

Common Agricultural Policy to remain part of EU's biodiversity funding, despite criticism

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), voted on this week in the European Parliament and Council, will remain by far the biggest funding source for biodiversity protection schemes at EU level, despite claims that it has encouraged intensive and damaging farming.

In a 4.4C world, annual climate-related damage costs could be 17 times higher in 2200 than 2070, the report predicts

CDP: Paris Agreement alignment could cut climate change costs by two-thirds

The mean damage costs of climate change will reach $5.4trn annually by 2070 and "spiral" to up to $31trn per year by 2200 if the global temperature rise hits 4.4C by the end of this century - which it will unless 'business-as-usual' is transformed.

Just 2% of the world’s terrestrial habitat which is degraded and would benefit from restoration is currently receiving such attention

$500bn per year needed to halt nature loss and boost biodiversity, nations and businesses told

A coalition of more than 140 nature conservation groups is calling on governments and businesses to ensure that $500bn of funding is provided annually to protect, restore and create habitats.

If successful, a $2bn carbon credit fund will be launched as a follow-up

HSBC signs up for new $1bn natural capital investment fund

HSBC has partnered with Pollination to launch what it is describing as the first large-scale investment fund focused solely on nature conservation and restoration.

According to WWF, nature loss will cost the global economy at least £8trn by 2050 

Banking giants team up for Task Force for Nature-related Financial disclosures

AXA and BNP Paribas are among a group of 10 major banks backing a new initiative intended to help corporates measure, disclose and minimise their nature-related financial risks.

Around 80% of the UK’s environmental laws have been forged in partnership with other nations in Europe

Defra unveils natural capital 'assessment' funding as post-Brexit green recovery shapes up

Environment Minister George Eustice has announced a new £5m Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment to protect the UK's environment as part of a new package of Environment Bill measures, on the same day that the Government unveiled a £16m sustainable farming package in South America.

(L-R) Steve Cann, Future Food Solutions; Andrew Walker, Yorkshire Water; Lee Pitcher, Yorkshire Water; James Hopwood, Birds Eye, and; Paul Rhodes, Future Food Solutions, 

Yorkshire Water and Birds Eye to support carbon-capturing 'pop up rainforest'

A new business collaboration in the Humber region looks set to create a "pop up rainforest" that will help farmers plant a diverse range of cover crops that will capture carbon, reduce flooding risk and improve soil health.

The world’s ecosystems have declined in size and condition by 47% globally compared to estimated baselines

UN: Finance giants must urgently set biodiversity targets and aim for 'net-positive'

Despite the continued trends towards divestment from big emitters and investment in low-carbon technologies, the world's biggest finance firms are failing to address biodiversity loss caused by organisations within their portfolios.

#SustyTalk: Ecover's Tom Domen on nature restoration and the refill revolution

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with Ecover & Method's head of long-term innovation Tom Domen outlining the firm's decision to grant £500,000 to nature restoration projects.

A play on 'build back better', the letter urges measures to help the UK 'grow back better' by taking more ambitious action on nature

25,000 jobs could be created through nature investment, charities tell Treasury

By providing funding for 330 "shovel-ready" nature restoration projects, the UK Government could create 10,000 jobs in the short-term and a further 15,000 in the long-term, while putting itself on track to meet key climate, biodiversity, tree planting and wellbeing targets.

Bodies including the UN believe that the world is currently facing a nature crisis in tandem with the climate crisis

Commit to nature restoration in your green Covid-19 recovery plans, businesses urged

Businesses including Danone and Unilever have pledged to work with governments to reverse nature loss as part of their Covid-19 recovery plans, following a call to action from NGOs and trade bodies.

EP&L assigns a monetary value to environmental and social impacts

Gucci cuts negative environmental impacts by two-fifths

Luxury fashion house Gucci has reduced its overall negative impact on the environment by 39% since 2015, putting it on track to exceed its 2025 target of a 40% reduction.

The projects will receive funding and assistance to develop business plans with the aim of attracting additional private sector investment

Defra backs natural capital investment projects

Four projects focused on protecting and restoring natural habitat across the UK are being backed by Government funding as part of a pilot scheme to funnel more private sector investment into the natural environment.

Both internally and externally the tools are being developed and a movement is emerging to kickstart a new era of sustainable business.

Chief value officers and ESG investors: What could green finance look like in the new normal?

Whatever the new normal looks like once nations have battled their way through the coronavirus, the recent rhetoric around green finance suggests that both internally externally, the value of sustainability to a business is set to grow.

Yorkshire Tea worked with TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting Programme) to encourage smallholder tea farmers to plant fruit and nut trees around tea gardens

Yorkshire Tea achieves carbon-neutral certification for operations and products

Yorkshire Tea has announced that all its products are carbon neutral from field to shelf, following a five-year programme to reduce emissions across its supply chain and operations.

The charities are asking for additional short-term emergency funding to cover costs for vital work.

Coronavirus: Environmental charities braced for long-term financial turmoil

Nature and conservation charities have expressed concern that the Government's £750m aid package for charities will not be enough to stop the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak from stifling efforts to tackle climate change and protect nature over the coming years.

Verde Nieto is a globally recognized figure in the sustainability field, having been trained by Al Gore at the Alliance of Climate Change

Positive Luxury: In the 'year of nature', greenwashing and incremental improvements won't cut it

EXCLUSIVE: As businesses strive to tackle the intertwined climate and resource crises, they must place nature and biodiversity at the centre of all financial considerations in 2020, a new forecast featuring input from Paul Polman, WWF and Paul Hawken warns.