Measurement & Valuation

To make better decisions, business needs reliable, relevant and fit-for-purpose data on natural, social and human capital alongside financial information.

To accelerate progress on this front, WBCSD led development of the Natural Capital Protocol (2016) – on behalf of the Natural Capital Coalition – as well as the Social and Human Capital Protocol (2019) – on behalf of the Social & Human Capital Coalition. These Protocols are frameworks for business to measure and value their non-financial impacts and dependencies to help manage risks and leverage opportunities that may not be visible using traditional business processes.

The challenge

As we gain insight into our relationship with natural, social and human capital, we have the opportunity to seize unprecedented benefits, while managing serious risks.

Although many tools exist to shed light on these issues, there is no agreed set of methodologies and datasets to measure and understand natural, social and human capital. Plus, the technical expertise needed to carry out assessments can be a barrier for uptake and implementation.

Finally, some sustainability professionals feel that they lack basic financial knowledge to connect with finance teams. Our factsheets can help.

The business case

We need to bring global efforts together in order to agree upon a set of generally-accepted prescriptive methodologies and datasets that enable consistent and comparable results.

Assessing natural, social and human capital alongside financial capital will provide more meaningful information, and better decisions – for business, society, the environment and - ultimately - investors.

At WBCSD, we aim to increase uptake and implementation of the Protocols to help companies measure and value natural, social and human capital.

The solution

In 2018 our work by focused on establishing an open multi-stakeholder Social and Human Capital Coalition, and running the public consultation on the Social and Human Capital Protocol. In February 2019 we launched the new Protocol, incorporating feedback from the public consultation and with improved alignment with the Natural Capital Protocol – facilitating an integrated approach to measurement and valuation of non-financial capital.

This is all part of our efforts to “cut through” the many tools available in order to encourage convergence and alignment around generally-accepted methodologies and datasets. One way we’re doing this is by joining forces with MIT’s SHIFT platform of tools.

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