Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
Previous industrial revolutions made people vastly more productive when low per-capita output was limiting progress in exploiting a seemingly boundless natural world. Today we face a different pattern of scarcity: abundant people and labor-saving machines, but diminishing natural capital.
“Natural capital” refers to the earth’s natural resources and the ecological systems that provide vital life-support services to society and all living things. These services are of immense economic value; some are literally priceless, since they have no known substitutes. Yet current business practices typically fail to take into account the value of these assets — which is rising with their scarcity. As a result, natural capital is being degraded and liquidated by the very wasteful use of resources such as energy, materials, water, fiber, and topsoil.
Companies Can Profit From the Principles of Natural Capitalism
Natural Capitalism describes a future on the verge of a new industrial revolution in which business and environmental interests increasingly overlap, and one where companies can improve their bottom lines, help solve environmental problems—and feel better about what they do—all at the same time.