5 capitals: natural.


Protecting, preserving, enhancing.

It’s vital that any approach to sustainable design is outcomes-focused. The overarching aim is to emphasise the value that can be created from sustainable developments. In collaboration with our clients, we create simple, clear aims that add value in these key areas.

1. Social: the value for wider society
2. Human: the impact on the users
3. Physical: the building & infrastructure
4. Natural: the enhancement of the environment
5. Economic: the commercial benefits

All week, we’ve been looking at each of these capitals in more detail. Today’s is natural capital.

Natural capital is all about the environment around us: the preservation of land, rivers, forests, and wildlife; the materials that we use and extract from the earth; the air we breathe; the materials that we throw away; the ecosystems we rely on.

Our ultimate aspiration as sustainability consultants is to help preserve, protect, and enhance the natural environment.

As designers of the built environment, we have a responsibility to find solutions that strike a balance between the need for buildings and the maintenance of existing ecosystems. When design is done well, developments can support the creation of new diverse habitats, and actively give back to the natural environment, rather than taking away.

Facilitating the shift to a circular economy.

This way of thinking also applies to how we approach environmental solutions, whether it’s the application of low carbon energy sources, resource efficiency and optimisation, or the sustainable procurement of materials.

We have the tools to protect and enhance our environment, it’s about changing the way people think and business are run.

Rather than being costly aspects of design, when properly considered, these solutions can actually add value. This is the basis of the circular economy principles we work to – decoupling the misconception that growth, progress, and commercial success can only come from resource use, and instead moving to a holistic system that’s regenerative by design.

Natural capital

We must deliver tangible real term benefits – benefits for people, for now, and for the future.

Take a look at our short video clip explaining our approach to creating natural capital:

Look out for our post tomorrow, where we’ll be looking in more detail at economic capital.