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Natural Capital Accounting And Parks: A Win-Win?


In the Netherlands, a coalition of multinational and large Dutch companies is taking steps to make their impact on natural and social capital visible throughout their entire value chain, with the help of civil society organizations. This unique initiative of companies, NGOs and the government teaming-up. Their ambition is formalized in a "Green Deal" signed by IUCN-NL, True Price, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Netherlands and the Dutch government. The Green Deal is linked to the global Natural Capital Protocol. As part of the Green Deal, companies map their environmental and social impact, and possibly report about them. This creates a more complete picture of the company's performance and fosters investment in natural capital. This is a major step towards a green and sustainable economy that values the well-being of people and the planet, while enabling development. The solution focusses on cross-sector learning, cooperation and implementation between companies, government and NGOs.

Problem, challenge or context: 

Natural Capital Accounting is the new buzz in the conservation and business worlds. There is talk of a revolution taking place in how businesses and governments account for natural capital. Is this real? Are we seeing concrete change in the way decisions are being made in relation to the environment? Do parks, people, and the planet benefit?

Specific elements of components: 
  1. The global natural capital protocol of the Natural Capital Coalition;
  2. Total Economic Valuation Studies of Protected Areas; and,
  3. Net Positive Impact business operations.
Key lessons learned: 

As the project is still being implemented, key lessons learned are still to come.

Impacts and outcomes: 

The work is ongoing, but already changed the perception of large and multinational companies around the world in how they account for natural capital. It is the basis for new investment, new rating of companies, and new alliances between various stakeholders. The work also changes the perception of governments, as they increase conservation efforts along with companies and NGOs.

Contact details: 
Daan Wensing, Managing Director, Leaders for Nature and Head of IUCN Netherlands Committee's Business and Biodiversity Programme
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