“Incorporating economics, accounting, and environmentalism, natural capital represents a paradigm shift in understanding the relationship between economic growth and environmental conservation,” Goldberg Segalla’s Ian J. Guthoff writes in an article for Law360. “While there are many definitions of natural capital, it is best understood as the global stock of environmental resources and ecological systems providing the goods and services necessary to support life and sustain industries.”
In the article, Ian, a member of the firm’s Environmental Law group, addresses the expansive discussion surrounding the concept of natural capital, as well as the application of its principles in the corporate decision-making process and accounting practices. He notes that the new and emerging concept has not yet been widely adopted, although the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Department of Commerce all advocate on its behalf.
“A major hurdle in the widespread adoption of natural capital practices is that they require a fundamental shift in understanding the natural environment as an asset,” Ian writes. “But companies that educate themselves on emerging concepts like natural capital will be better positioned to realize long-term sustainable growth. So businesses should begin gathering information on ways to incorporate natural capital into their ESG platforms.”
“Natural Capital: A Paradigm Shift in Valuing the Environment,” Law360, August 24, 2021
Ian J. Guthoff concentrates his practice on defending individuals, corporations, and public entities in toxic tort and environmental litigation. Ian draws on experience as a regulatory affairs associate at BlueRock Energy, where he evaluated and interpreted local, state, and federal energy regulations, and as an intern with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he focused on water contamination and concentrated animal feeding operations.