In his 2015 encyclical, the Laudato Si, Pope John Francis expressed the need to care for our common home. This was a big step for the ecological community, whether catholic or not, as one of the world’s leaders had recognised the critical state of nature and the need to act. Since our inception in 2016, IDEEA Group has been developing natural capital accounting as a management tool for society’s leaders, whether as globally recognised as Pope John Francis, or our local farm manager, to do their bit.
Within the pope’s message, was another smaller detail perhaps as important as any other: “an ecological approach is truly a social approach.” Recently, top natural capital thinkers have revealed that they share this view. The Natural Capital Coalition, now known as the Capitals Coalition have brought the natural capital coalition and the social and human capital coalition under one umbrella. “The Capitals Coalition is a global collaboration transforming the way decisions are made by including the value provided by nature, people and society.” The economics for ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB) have published TEEB Agrifood to undertake and use holistic evaluations of Agrifood systems.
At IDEEA Group we recognise the importance of these shifts and they align with our vision of using accounting and economics to support societal change. As we have done with natural capital, we are supporting businesses, government and the not-for-profit sector with the practicalities of multiple capital thinking. Our approach which systemises human capital, social capital, produced capital and natural capital into an accounting framework, is an important step in delivering a better societal outcome.
Following on from Carl’s co-authored chapter about TEEB evaluation framework , we have been busy writing guidelines for the application of the TEEB framework. Practitioners will be able to apply the framework address their challenges and issues. From a practical sense, we have developed and applied a multiple capitals evaluation framework for the Victorian Department of Environmental, Land, Water and Planning. We have also been working with Edmund Rice Education Australia to support a shift in thinking across their community of schools in Australia.
We are excited about what multiple capitals accounting can deliver for holistic decision makers that manage a wide range of values. …. operationalising decision making that will improve our future.