Natural Capital Measurement Catalogue (NCMC) Version 1.0 aims to provide a consistent reference source for a comprehensive set of natural capital metrics and methods.

Users can consult the catalogue to identify metrics that they can use in:

  • management of natural assets (e.g. at the farm level of corporate value chains or within defined, managed land areas)
  • management of an organisation’s nature-related impacts and dependencies, or risks and opportunities (e.g. indirectly through supply chains or directly through business operations)
  • external reporting (e.g. against disclosure standards and frameworks).

The NCMC is intended to be a ‘live’ resource, constantly being evolved and refined. Over the next 6 -18 months, the team will be undertaking extensive stakeholder consultation to advise on both the technical and usability aspects of the NCMC.

Expectations rising for better natural capital measurement

Globally, there is an increasing expectation that governments and corporations better value the interdependent relationship between nature and people.

One way of encouraging investment in nature is by measuring and valuing natural assets and the services they provide as ‘natural capital’.

Natural capital is important for climate action because there is no path to net zero without nature. Limiting warming to 1.5°C will require both a significant reduction in emissions and protecting ecosystems.

Water and land.
The Natural Capital Measurement Catalogue Version 1.0 is available at naturalcapitalmeasurement.org

Measuring the state of natural capital requires a suite of measures beyond carbon dioxide-equivalents, the common metric used to quantify GHG emissions.

Natural capital has many aspects with varying definitions and metrics. There has been a lack of agreed common language and measurement approaches, making it hard for investors to aggregate information and policymakers and businesses to drive improvements at scale.

Climateworks Centre has been working for four years with industry, government, other cross-sectoral stakeholders and experts to help fill this gap. The result is an agreed, evidence-based set of common measures for natural capital that are aligned with international frameworks and locally relevant to Australian land types.

Development of the catalogue

The release of Version 1.0 builds on the original proof of concept and follows an extensive feedback and refinement process. The NCMC remains a comprehensive, open-source set of measures for natural capital in Australia.

A broad range of stakeholders across Australia working in the natural capital space – including land managers, financial institutions, measurement providers, government, consultancy, research and supply chains organisations – have advised on its development.

The ongoing technical development of the NCMC is governed by a group of technical experts from CSIRO, ANU, La Trobe University, Griffith University, Federation University, Accounting for Nature and Farming for the Future. These experts have an active interest in advancing the measurement and management of natural capital in Australia and globally. 

Since the release of the proof-of-concept in 2021, the NCMC has been refined and expanded based on expert stakeholder feedback to include updates such as:

The newly released digital NCMC also includes helpful descriptions of each section, as well as definitions and resources to support natural capital measurement.

Alignment to international standards

The adoption of the Kumming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, the release of the TNFD’s final beta framework for nature-related risk management and disclosure and the International Sustainability Standards Board’s inaugural company disclosure standards are recent examples of global moves to place renewed value on nature.

The NCMC is designed to present natural capital accounting and assessment metrics that are consistent with national and international standards and frameworks.

Users can access the NCMC as a resource that supports the practical implementation of natural capital measurement aligned with overarching frameworks including the SEEA, Natural Capital Protocol and TNFD.

The NCMC complements and aims to align with national initiatives and frameworks such as the Australian Agricultural Standard Framework (AASF) by the National Farmers Federation (NFF).

This ensures that all users of the NCMC are taking a consistent approach to measurement that aligns with work already being done by farmers, land managers and industry peak bodies across Australia. 

Integrating natural capital considerations into decision-making

The NCMC has been designed to help facilitate the integration of natural capital considerations into business, financial and government decision-making.

If entities are unsure of where to begin measuring their natural capital, the NCMC presents three ‘tiers’ of metrics and methods. 

This allows unfamiliar users to get started on their natural capital measurement journey, taking into account the user’s needs, resources and deadlines. 

When businesses incorporate natural capital into their decision-making, it creates space for improvements in a range of areas, such as supply-chain management, risk assessment and management, business sustainability, resilience, and uninterrupted production and operation. 

Governments can use information on the state of natural capital to provide important practical information for evaluating different policies, investment objectives and financial risk management.

The NCMC supports business and government to measure – and consequently manage – their natural capital assets, flows of services or benefits, and organisational impacts or dependencies on nature.

Welcoming your feedback

We encourage you to use and test the NCMC. We welcome your feedback either through the feedback form on the NCMC website, or by contacting us directly.