Research Outline

Who has made most progress in quantifying “natural capital”?

Early Findings


To provide a summary of who the leading organizations are in quantifying natural capital, and determine further paths for researching the topic of natural capital.


National capital, the concept of quantifying the world's natural assets, and ascribing value to them, has been both praised for its potential in giving governments and organizations a tool to quantify environmental impacts, as well as criticized for "turning the natural world into a commodity". Natural capital includes any natural assets such as plants, animals, air, water, soils, minerals, as well as the overall biodiversity of a region.

Stanford University is one of the key educational institutes studying natural capital. Specifically, Stanford leads a natural capital project with the objective of achieving more targeted natural capital investments. They work in partnership with several natural capital projects and institutions, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Minnesota, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund.

The Natural Capital Coalition is a partnership of just under 300 organizations that have the goal of understanding the quantitative value of natural capital globally, and studies natural capital in such a way that it will benefit of diverse segments of society.

Conservation International (CI) has the most data driven quantification system of natural capital with "an accounting system that can help governments calculate exactly how nature supports their economies" and another system for private sectors to better understand the value of natural capital within their financial goals.

The Natural Capital Committee published a report titled, State of Natural Capital: Towards a framework for measurement and valuation that is aimed at determining the best methods to quantify natural capital, and includes data such as "sectors of the economy most directly dependent on natural capital", quantified data on watershed value, and biodiversity metrics

Singapore has the most in depth government led project in progress to determine natural capital, having just launched a three year iniative called the Natural Capital Singapore Project that will be the first national assessment of quantitiative benefits of a nations natural capital.

The World Forum On Natural Capital is an event related to the topic, where global business leaders, government representatives and environmental experts convene to discuss and present topics related to natural capital.


We can provide a more in depth look at the work of 3-5 of the organizations mentioned above related to Natural Capital, and any impact of their work on governments or organizations (3 hours, $75) If you choose this option, please select which organization or organizations above you would like us to prioritize.

We can also provide a list of attendees to the World Forum On Natural Capital, specifically focusing on organizations that are participating in Natural Capital research, such as environmental organizations or research institutes, alongside links to their websites and/or natural capital iniatives (3 hours, $75)

We could also compile a list of academic and scientific reports on natural capital from the past five years, providing a brief summary of each, alongside links to the full reports for further study (3 hours, $75)