Natural capital assessments are increasingly being used by businesses in corporate financial, risk, and environmental management processes. However, there are currently a number of ‘data barriers’ to effective natural capital assessment and decision-making in the private sector. The Natural Capital Coalition and UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) are working with businesses to identify and address these data barriers, and facilitate more robust analysis and valuation of corporate impacts and dependence on natural capital.
Feedback from the private sector, including the 50+ businesses who piloted the Natural Capital Protocol, indicates that lack of access to robust data for decision-making is often a barrier for businesses wishing to integrate natural capital impacts and dependencies into corporate strategies. This survey seeks to establish what data gaps, challenges, and barriers are encountered by businesses doing this.
In the context of this survey ‘natural capital data’ is used as a broad term to describe all data and information used in, and relating to, natural capital assessments. This includes data and information pertaining to:
- stocks of natural capital (plants, animals, air, water, soils, and minerals),
- flows of ecosystem services,
- impacts and dependencies on natural capital, and
- associated costs and benefits to business and society.
And ‘natural capital assessment’ is taken to mean: “The process of measuring and valuing relevant (‘material’) natural capital impacts and/or dependencies, using appropriate methods” (Natural Capital Coalition, 2016).
The information that you provide in this survey will be used to inform the development of the Natural Capital Data Information Flow project being run by UNEP-WCMC on behalf of the Natural Capital Coalition, further information about this project can be found here.