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Opportunities for businesses to use and support development of SEEA-aligned natural capital accounts

May 19, 2022

Global understanding of the interconnections between the environment and economy has increased, driving the development of frameworks and standards that support the measurement and valuation of natural capital and ecosystem services by both governments and businesses. This paper outlines how businesses can use natural capital accounts (NCA) aligned to the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) standard described in this special issue to support identification, management, and valuation of natural capital not typically listed on corporate balance sheets. Such accounts have direct applications for business strategic planning, investment decisions, supply chain management, operations management, risk management, and corporate reporting. Businesses also have important roles to play in advancing SEEA-aligned NCA by providing information that would be useful to include in the accounts and by helping to shape accounts to provide decision-relevant information for both the private and the public sectors. Current pilot SEEA-aligned NCA data and analyses developed for the United States can help address some of the common challenges that businesses face in using natural capital data such as accessibility, quality, and credibility, important for business decision making. However, improvements are needed to fill data gaps and produce more frequent and timely estimates aligned to the temporal resolution needed by businesses.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Opportunities for businesses to use and support development of SEEA-aligned natural capital accounts
DOI 10.1016/j.ecoser.2022.101434
Authors Jane Carter Ingram, Kenneth J. Bagstad, Michael Vardon, Charles R. Rhodes, Stephen M. Posner, Clyde F. Casey, Pierre D. Glynn, Carl D. Shapiro
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecosystem Services
Index ID 70231753
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center