June 2015’s NWSBQ: Natural capital

NWSBQ - March 2015 (4)From thundering rivers to the buzzing pollinators just outside your window, it’s time we started valuing our planet’s natural resources. And June’s NWSBQ was about this very thing: natural capital. Many thanks to all those who attended another successful evening of networking and knowledge-sharing, particularly SSE Energy Solutions, whose sponsorship made it possible for us to delight in yet another delicious buffet supplied by the social enterprise GoodMoodFood. Our immense gratitude goes to Bruntwood for our venue – the Floor 24 team pulled out all the stops yet again!

We were privileged to hear from two natural capital experts – John Ferry, an Earth Science and Resource Management Specialist, and Mat Roberts, Interserve’s Director of Sustainability Strategy. Between them, John and Mat conveyed the underpinning importance of natural capital to every other type of ‘capital’, and (without sounding too pessimistic!) the impossible situation of trying to put a value on something that we’re already destroying. We were able to contemplate the relative importance of value and price – two terms which are far from interchangeable.

John and Mat explained that there is lots already underway under the heading of ‘natural capital’, but that the market is missing an essential ingredient: buyers. Without enough levers, incentives or regulations in relation to natural capital, there’s not enough “push” to make people see the value of our planet’s natural resources.

Despite such frustrations with the current situation, we discussed how there are a number of ways to accelerate the wide-scale acceptance of natural capital thinking, including through regulatory change to internalise ecosystem services, and through efforts to bring natural capital language into mainstream business conversation.

To see Mat’s slides, please click here.

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