Stakeholder perspectives on the value proposition of enterprise-level natural capital accounting for three primary industries
van Putten, EI and Pinkard, E and O' Grady, A and Schmidt, RK and Cresswell, I and Raoult, V and Taylor, MD, Stakeholder perspectives on the value proposition of enterprise-level natural capital accounting for three primary industries, Environment Systems and Decisions, 41, (4) pp. 541-555. ISSN 2194-5403 (2021) [Refereed Article]
Globally we are experiencing a decline in aggregate natural capital. Many primary industries and enterprises are highly dependent on renewable and non-renewable natural capital, but there has been little focus on measuring and monitoring the flows benefits from natural capital. Natural capital accounting can help by potentially enabling the enterprise to better adapt and respond to risks in the future. To assist future implementation of natural capital accounting we assess the value proposition perceived by primary industry stakeholders. We use three primary industries in Australia as case studies (cotton, forestry and fisheries), and surveyed 140 stakeholders across the three industries. Interviewees generally suggested natural capital accounting is of public benefit by improving environmental outcomes. Private benefits are obtained through industry gaining social licence, greater market access and better business models. Although there was general agreement over improved environmental outcomes and access to premium markets, there were differences between industries and stakeholders. There were some concerns across the industries about the potential costs natural capital accounting may add to normal business operations and the lack of consistency in practices. Mainstreaming natural capital accounting across primary industries will mean that the value propositions and the implementation barriers need to be addressed. Overall the value proposition of implementing natural capital accounts at the enterprise level must stack up favourably against its costs.
natural resources, natural capital, ecosystem service, stakeholder perceptions, value proposition