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Natural Capital Protocol


Project: Developing and Testing a Harmonised Framework for Valuing Natural Capital in Business & Investor Decision Making


The Challenge

At present there a growing number of fragmented activities underway regarding the valuation of natural capital in business and public sector applications. One of the challenges in scaling uptake in business is the lack of a harmonised approach to enable natural capital valuation to be practically used in applications e.g. internal management, reporting and disclosure.

Project Aim

The Natural Capital Coalition is running a project to draft a harmonised framework for valuing natural capital in business decision making to enable better measurement, management, reporting and disclosure. This is the Natural Capital Protocol. Funding for the project is provided in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Swiss Economic Ministry (SECO) to IFC at the World Bank. The intent is not to invent new methods, but build on the front runners that already exist e.g. the WBCSD Guide to Corporate Ecosystems Valuation, fill the gaps and enable a period of experimentation in the market via different sectors and geographies. This will enable lessons to be learnt and the current gaps to be better understood. It is anticipated that the resulting framework would be the starting point to inform future standards. Two sector specific supporting guides will also be developed to provide specificity that can simplify a sectors use of natural capital valuation. This will focus on agricultural commodities used in food/beverage sector including beef or soy and also the apparel sector e.g. cotton and leather. Future projects could build on this to develop additional sector guides.

The process will be open and consultative to enable key stakeholders from business, policy and practitioners to effectively inform the result. The consultation process will be done using a combination of in person workshops/ events, webinars /calls and circulating documents for comment.

Early adopter businesses and investors are strongly encouraged to participate. Our focus is in particular on business sectors and supply chains with high natural capital impacts e.g. agricultural commodities, forestry, fisheries, energy, mining, construction and some consumer goods e.g. apparel. Subject to agreement with participants, case studies will be produced to illustrate the business case and process for applying natural capital valuation in business and investor applications to further grow the business case.


How to Participate

We welcome stakeholders from business, investors, technical experts, policy and research to participate in this project.

Email us at if you wish to participate.


Funding Partners


  World Bank Group   IFC

Participants Signed Up to Date


British Standards Institute Business for Social Responsibility Cardno Canadian BSR Carbon Disclosure Project
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) The Climate Group Center for International Forestry Research
Conservation International Corporate Eco Forum Environmental Resources Management
European Water Stewardship FMO Development Bank
Globla Nature Fund Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales
IFAC Integrated Horizons  Kingfisher
LandCare Research New Zealand Natural Capital Declaration, UNEP FI
The Nature Conservency New Forests Asia Perrigot
The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability project
Sustain Value
Synergiz  Trucost  True Price
UK WBCSD WAVES World Resource Institute WWF    


The first step in the Natural Capital Protocol project has been to conduct a stock take of existing initiatives to provide a baseline to inform the Protocol development when it commences shortly. Natural capital experts, developers of the current methodologies / tools and early adopters from business, policy, NGOs, academia and consultancy have informed the content. Two associated publications are now available for download.




More Information

Download the updated RFP with extended deadline to 11 April at 12pm BST   Download the World Bank Consulting Services Manual referred from the RFP
Download the Project Terms of Reference & Sign Up Sheet   Click here to download the Press Release
Valuing Natural Capital in Business: Working Towards a Harmonised Protocol   Valuing Natural Capital in Business: Taking Stock

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To register your interest in joining the Coalition, please complete our registration form. You will receive regular updates from us and will be able to access all areas of our website.


We have rebranded to the Natural Capital Coalition from Q1 2014