Business: Protecting and enhancing natural capital is urgent

8th February 2016

Over 70% of businesses in Central Scotland believe that urgent action is necessary to protect and enhance Scotland’s natural capital, according to new research. The research also revealed that over 60% of businesses see natural capital as important to their organisation.

The findings were part of a survey of over 300 senior decision makers from businesses carried out by Scottish Forum member the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN). Although the term natural capital was unfamiliar to over 2/3rds of the respondents, once it was explained there was a clear recognition of its importance.

The survey also highlighted the important role that local environments and the wider Scottish environment play in where businesses locate, staff satisfaction and marketing. Two thirds of respondents recognised that Scotland’s natural environment was important for staff satisfaction showing the need for action at both local and national scales.

Executive Director of the Institute of Directors Scotland & Scottish Forum on Natural Capital Steering Group member, David Watt commented:

“It is encouraging to see Scottish businesses of all sizes are recognizing the urgent need for action. Businesses benefit from and impact on natural capital and they have a key role to play in protecting and enhancing the natural capital which underpins our economy”

Executive Director, Technical Policy and Practice Support of ICAS & Scottish Forum on Natural Capital Steering Group member, David Wood said:

"To ensure the sustainability of their business model and their survival into the future, all businesses need to understand the extent of their dependence on natural capital and consider any risks relating to that dependence."

Chair of the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, Jonathan Hughes said:

“Directly or indirectly, natural capital is essential to every business. If we are to preserve the ability of our stocks of natural capital to provide the clean air, flood protection, food, inspiration and countless other benefits on which we all depend, urgent action is needed.”

The Scottish Forum worked with the CSGN on the natural capital section of the survey to increase awareness of the concept of natural capital and gather insights. The results correlate with findings from the Scottish Natural Capital Survey 2014 of over 500 business leaders carried out by the Institute of Directors Scotland and ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland) in partnership with the Scottish Forum.

Click here to find the full results from the CSGN Business Survey

Click here to find out about becoming a member of the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital