Natural Capital

What is natural capital?

"Natural capital is the inventory of renewable and non-renewable natural resources (for example plants, animals, air, water, soil, minerals) that, when combined, provide benefits to people", according to the definition of the "Natural Capital Coalition" .

These reserves provide services such as air and water filtration, food production, pollination, climate regulation, erosion control and spaces for recreation -known as ecosystem services (SS.EE.)- that are essential for human well-being.


Integrated reporting standards describe natural capital -and represent it visually- as the form of capital that provides the environment in which all other forms of capital are sustained.

Natural capital is one of the commonly recognized forms of capital,
in addition to financial, human, social, manufactured and relational.

They are all interrelated and cannot be separated

The services provided by natural capital are undervalued or remain hidden in many cases, despite the great potential they have to impact companies and organizations. This invisibility, together with a "business as usual" production and consumption model and the growing human population on a finite planet, put great pressure on the natural world.


Proactive management of natural capital opens a window of opportunity, while the absence of management generates risks that ultimately affect the shareholders.

Integrating natural capital into ordinary accounting and decision-making processes means recognizing that we operate in a market system that takes environmental reality into account. This approach is the only possible way to face the climate and biodiversity crisis that we are experiencing.

Benefits provided by the

Integration of Natural Capital

Legal compliance

Regulatory non-financial reporting requirements for companies are on the rise, so understanding and managing the impacts and dependencies of natural capital will help them comply.

Compliance with interest groups

Regulatory requirements for companies in terms of non-financial reporting are increasing, so understanding and managing the impacts and dependencies of natural capital will help them comply with them.



Better risk management

Sustainability is more than just an ethical approach. In terms of risk management, it is a driver of opportunity. Measuring, evaluating and valuing the impacts and dependencies of natural capital broadens the vision of the implications that the different operations have on ecosystem services.



Financial importance

Non-financial issues such as biodiversity, clean air or healthy and fertile soils are becoming increasingly financially important. Environmental degradation, climate change and the transition to a decarbonized economy can significantly affect the economy and finances. For this reason, both financial supervisors and other regulatory bodies must pay due attention to the risks associated with natural capital and the climate.

Opportunities

Introducing the analysis of natural capital in planning provides the business sector with the ability to develop quantitative, qualitative and monetary assessment tools to assess its activity, collect information and make decisions or formulate corporate sustainability strategies, detect business opportunities business and improve its positive social impact and reputation, among others.