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New research from CISL highlights business need for simple and consistent natural capital metrics

last modified Jun 13, 2017 09:35 AM
13 June 2017 – Businesses are becoming more aware of their impacts and dependencies upon the natural environment but there is a lack of consistency and links to commercial drivers in the metrics used to quantify impacts and dependencies across businesses.

Commercial logicThis is the key finding of a new working paper launched by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, ‘The commercial logic to measuring natural capital,’ which sets out the outcomes of a small piece of qualitative research. It explores the use of different metrics for standard business processes by sustainability professionals and their relationship to natural capital measures. 

The report also finds that context is often not considered within natural capital measures; the metrics that companies currently use do not link well to commercial drivers; and there is only limited guidance available to help companies link natural capital metrics to commercial drivers in business. It highlights the need for simple metrics that enable companies to demonstrate their progress on securing natural capital that then link to commercial business decisions.

With these metrics in place it will be easier for internal decision-makers and potentially other investors to recognise the value of including natural capital considerations in decision-making and to help finance those that can demonstrate progress in this area. 

Read the working paper: The commercial logic to measuring natural capital.


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Gemma Cranston, Acting Director, Natural Resource Security Portfolio

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