Tag Archives: Natural Capital

The Concept of Natural Capital

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Every company deals with capital when figuring out how to operate their business and observing how the business is performing. Companies in the United States operate under a capitalist economic system, where capital goods are owned by individuals who use them to create a product or service to sell for a profit. This is nothing new of course, but it then feeds in to how some people feel that the dwindling free natural resources of the world need to be accounted for economically. This brings about the concept of natural capital, which was first foreshadowed by President Roosevelt in 1937 when he talked about how the Earth’s permanent capital, natural resources, were being transformed into wealth faster than the real wealth was being replaced. The term natural capital was first used by E.F. Schumacher in 1973 in his book “Small is Beautiful.” What natural capital does is essentially place a value on the things we amass from the Earth for free, like clean water, air, and trees. In the dollars of today, a 1997 research group valued the entire biosphere at $47 trillion dollars. It seems like this notion has been  Continue Reading »