Natural Capital in Business Planning: Challenges and Opportunities

In late September 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Earth Institute hosted the Natural Capital Business Roundtable to discuss this growing topic, bringing together an intimate group of business, government, and non-profit leaders. This invite-only event, the third in a series of four regional roundtables organized by the Department of Commerce, provided opportunities to hear, share, and understand core business concerns such as supply chain resiliency, corporate image, and cost savings in the context of the unique challenges faced by industries here in the coastal Northeast.

Moving 'Natural Capital' From Metaphor to Reality

Achieving an actual measurable value for “natural capital” has remained elusive, says Eli Fenichel, an assistant professor of bioeconomics and ecosystems management at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. In a new paper, Fenichel and co-author Joshua Abbott of Arizona State University report developing an approach to calculate a fair and consistent price for natural capital stocks that is grounded in the same theory of economic capital that governs the pricing of other capital assets, from stock prices to factories.

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