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Natural Capitalism

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  1. Natural Capitalism • Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins & Hunter Lovins developed the approach • Aim is to protect the biosphere and improve profits and competitiveness • Uses simple changes to the way businesses are run: • advanced techniques for making resources more productive • increased benefits for shareholders and for future generations.

  2. Natural Capitalism • New mind-set & set of values than conventional capitalism. Main assumptions are: • Environment is “an envelope containing, provisioning & sustaining the entire economy” • Limiting factor to future economic development is availability & functionality of natural capital, particularly, life-supporting services that have no substitutes & currently no market value • Loss of natural capital caused by badly designed business systems, population growth and wasteful patterns of consumption

  3. Natural Capitalism • Future economic progress can best take place in democratic, market-based systems of production & distribution in which all forms of capital are fully valued • Keys to beneficial employment of people, money & environment is radial increases in resource productivity • Human welfare is best served by improving the quality & flow of desired services delivered.

  4. Natural Capitalism • Economic & environmental sustainability depends on redressing global inequities of income and material well being • Best long-term environment for commerce is provided by true democratic systems of governance that are based on needs of people rather than business

  5. Strategies of Natural Capitalism • Radical resource productivity • Biomimicry • Service and flow economy • Investing in natural capital

  6. Radical Resource Productivity • Using resources more effectively • Three main benefits • It slows resource depletion at one end of value chain • Lowers pollution at the other end • Provides a basis to increase worldwide employment with meaningful jobs • Results can be lower costs for business & society – no longer paying for ecosystem and social disruption

  7. Biomimicry • Currently the ratio of waste to durable products that constitute material wealth is close to one hundred to one, system is less than 10% efficient • Reducing or eliminating waste can be accomplished by redesigning industrial systems along biological lines. • Enables the constant reuse of materials in continuous closed cycles • Often eliminates toxicity

  8. Biomimicry • Spiders make silk as strong as Kevlar but much tougher from digested flies, without needing boiling sulphuric acid & high-temp extruders • Trees turn sunlight, water and air into cellulose, a sugar stiffer & stronger than nylon, and binds it into wood a natural composite with higher bending strength than concrete or steel

  9. Service and Flow Economy • Fundamental change in the relationship between producer & consumer, shift from economy of goods & purchases to one of service & flow • Needs a new perception of value, a shift from acquisition of goods as a measure of affluence to economy where continuous receipt of quality, utility & performance promotes well-being • Focuses on relationships that better meet customers’ changing value needs and rewards resource productivity & closed-loop cycles of material use

  10. Investing in Natural Capital • Reverses planetary destruction through reinvestments in sustaining, restoring & expanding stocks of natural capital • Biosphere can produce more abundant ecosystem services and natural resources