The Natural Capital Protocol (hereafter the “Protocol”) is a framework designed to help generate trusted, credible, and actionable information that business managers need to inform decisions.
The Protocol aims to support better decisions by including how we interact with nature, or more specifically natural capital, in decision making. Until now, natural capital has for the most part been excluded from decisions and, when included, has been largely inconsistent, open to interpretation, or limited by moral arguments. The Protocol responds by offering a standardized framework to identify, measure, and value impacts and dependencies on natural capital.
Why does business need to include natural capital in its decisions? The growing need to conserve and enhance natural capital is well documented. We know that we are depleting natural resources faster than the earth can replenish them, and at an accelerating rate (WWF 2014). We have grown financial capital in large part through the use, exploitation, and degradation of natural and social capital.