A successful business within the limits of our planet?

It’s possible.Follow our natural capital roadmap and find out how.

Why follow the natural capital roadmap?

Your company - like any other - uses natural capital to deliver its products and services. Perhaps you need clean water in your production processes, rely on nature to capture CO2 emissions, or require fertile soil to produce your raw materials. This dependency on our planet’s increasingly scarce resources makes your business vulnerable. But understanding natural capital as part of your business also brings new opportunities. Our roadmap helps you to identify and capture these opportunities. So start taking action today, and be tomorrow’s leader.


Following the natural capital roadmap will future-proof your business, helping you to

  • safeguard your future supply of essential resources
  • secure your license to operate
  • improve your access to finance
  • enhance resource efficiency
  • create opportunities for new products and markets

1Identify your impacts and dependencies on natural capital


The first step helps you to focus on the natural capital that matters most to your company. Using our analysis tool, you learn how your company benefits from ecosystems. Which goods and services of nature are important for your business? Moreover, you get a clear overview of how your business operations impact nature.Learn more

Company X sells personal care products. To produce these it uses palm oil sourced from large scale plantations in Indonesia. From the analysis the company learns that the majority of its environmental impacts are associated with the production of this raw material. The company decides to target its efforts on this part of its value chain.

2Assess your business risks and opportunities


Zooming in on the priority natural capital identified in step 1, you consider the associated risks and opportunities in five key areas: operational, legal, reputation, market and finance. How are changes in these areas likely to affect the supply of your priority natural capital? And how will this affect your business?
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Stricter laws on the production of palm oil may jeopardize Company X’s supply. Media attention about deforestation associated with palm oil plantations can cause reputational damage. An opportunity lies in the production of a new line of soaps based on sustainable oils which is likely to attract a new customer base.

3Measure and report on your impacts and dependencies


In this step, you employ metrics to measure how your business activities impact natural capital and vice versa. Once you have this information, you can set quantitative targets on how to improve your performance and monitor your progress using performance indicators.
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Company X calculates that the forest that has been cleared for palm oil represents a value of X rupees to society in lost ecosystem services. It recognizes this as a huge externality which cannot continue. Company X sets a target to reduce its reliance on palm oil and ensure that all its existing palm oil suppliers commit to zero deforestation and become certified.

4Take action to reduce your risks and capture opportunities


Now that you know your exact impact, you can take action to manage this impact following the mitigation hierarchy. First and foremost, you look for solutions to prevent impacts. Second, you take measures that reduce the impact. Then, you help restore the ecosystem to its original state. Finally, you compensate for the unavoidable impacts. This step helps you to maximize your return on natural capital.
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Company X finds a number of suppliers that produce sustainable palm oil for which no forest has been cut down. It also looks for alternatives and tries to minimize the waste.

5Integrate natural capital into your business strategy


Once you’ve experienced how natural capital can work for your business, the next step is to ensure that you seize its full potential. In this step, you integrate natural capital in every aspect of your business strategy: an innovation that changes processes, practices, systems and policies and helps you to become a truly sustainable company.
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Company X applies a natural capital approach to its sustainability strategy and to its other products, packaging, office buildings – in short, it organizes its entire business around the goal of achieving net positive impact on natural capital.

6Engage and jointly realize the transition towards a green and sustainable economy


Leaders for Nature offers you the perfect platform to connect with policy makers, business peers, suppliers, NGOs and academics. Together with these stakeholders, you can contribute significantly to a green and sustainable economy.
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As a leading player in the field of sustainability, company X uses its position to convince governments to set sustainable policies on palm oil use, creating a level playing field. It joins hands with academics and other producers to do research and development on suitable alternatives for palm oil. Finally, Company X can now build a brand that is recognized for sustainability.

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