As an entrepreneur, you want to develop your organization and make it future proof. Sustainability is an important theme. And if you take a good look around, you'll see that the natural environment also has much to offer: that is natural capital. Nature forms the basis for most industries, and by investing in it, this can be sustainably exploited.
The sustainable beginning
Firstly, it is important to clarify which sustainable steps you want to take, and how your company makes use of natural capital. Then, you can investigate how and where your business has an impact on the environment. Do you, for example, emit gases into the air, or substances in the water? Do you use natural products in your production process? Or are natural areas decreased in size because of your business activities? Use this protocol of the Natural Capital Coalition to get insight into your impact on natural capital. This protocol also serves as a practical guide to get started immediately.
Start small: consider your business site
It is always easier to start small. On your company's premises for example. Install an insect hotel or a bee hive to stimulate local biodiversity. You can also take the natural environment into account in the physical planning of the company. A green environment can have large positive effects on your employees. Or why not organise a meeting in nature? By bringing natural capital literally into vision, it will sooner get integrated into your business plans. And your first positive contribution, however small, will easily be made.
The impact of products and services
However, you probably have a greater impact on the world's natural capital through your production process or your services. To change this, it is important to look for alternatives to processes that reduce the value of natural capital. For example, by designing products in a circular way, you no longer deplete natural resources, and neither do you produce any waste.
As a next step, consider whether your business can even strengthen natural capital. Can you make money with the promotion of biodiversity? Or with the strengthening of ecosystems? And what are the results of this in the short and the long term? This may be a creative challenge, but it is often here where opportunities lie. Do not hesitate to ask for help from this community.
Read more about the impact of your business abroad here.
The power of natural capital is in the numbers. Reduced risks, new business opportunities and the current value can be measured. And that’s how you can integrate the value of nature into your business plan, and you can report about it to your shareholders. Read more about this here or use these useful recommendations from ACCA. You can also choose to publish your evaluation (for example within this community) so as to inspire others, and to increase your positive impact.