Home » Environmentalism » Eco-capitalism » Natural Capitalism

Natural Capitalism

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution is a 1999 book co-authored by Paul Hawken , Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins . It’s a question of a Harvard Business Review summary. [2]

In Natural Capitalism The authors describe the global economy as being dependent on natural resources and ecosystem services. Natural Capitalism is a criticism of the traditional “Industrial Capitalism”, saying that the traditional system of capitalism “does not fully conform to its own accounting principles” It liquidates its capital and calls it income. capital it employs – the natural resources and living systems, as well as the social and cultural systems that are the basis of human capital. ”

Natural capitalism recognizes the critical interdependence between the production and use of human-made capital and the maintenance and supply of natural capital. [3] The authors argue that only through recognizing this essential relationship with the Earth’s valuable resources can businesses, and the people they support, continues to exist.

Their fundamental questions are: What would an economy look like if it fully valued all forms of capital? What if an economy were organized around the abstractions of neoclassical economics and accountancy but the biological realities of nature? What is generally accepted as a reliable and inexhaustible source of supply? What if in the absence of a financial accounting practice, companies started to act in such a way.

The authors of Natural Capitalism say that these choices are possible and “such an economy would offer a new set of opportunities for all of society, amounting to the next industrial revolution . sustainable future. [4]

According to the authors, the “next industrial revolution” depends on the espousal of four central strategies: “the conservation of resources through more effective manufacturing processes, the reuse of natural materials, and investing in natural capital, or restoring and sustaining natural resources “. [4]

While traditional industrial capitalism Primarily Recognizes the value of money and goods as capital , Natural Capitalism extends recognition to natural capital and human capital . Problems such as pollution and social injustice may then be regarded as failures to properly account for capital, rather than as inherent failures of capitalism itself.

The fundamental assumptions of Natural Capitalism are as follows: [3]

  1. The limiting factor to future economic development is the availability and functionality of natural capital , in particular, life-supporting services that have no substitutes and currently have no market value.
  2. Misconceived or badly designed business systems, population growth, and wasteful patterns of consumption are the primary causes of the loss of natural capital, and all three must be addressed to achieve a sustainable economy.
  3. Future economic progress can be made in market-based systems of production and distribution in which all forms of capital are fully valued, including human, manufactured, financial, and natural capital.
  4. One of the keys to the most beneficial employment of people, money, and the environment is radical increases in resource productivity .
  5. Human welfare is better served by improving the quality of the flow of services.
  6. Economic and environmental sustainability depends on rectifying global inequities of income and material well-being.

Meaning of book’s title

In a 2009 interview, [5] Paul Hawken described his motivation behind the title ” Natural Capitalism “. He stated that it was intended as a ” natural capital “, a term originally coined by EF Schumacher in 1973. Hawken endorsed the underlying concept of natural capital , and its implications for society, so added an “-ism” at the end of that word as a double hear .

Despite this intention from Hawken, many readers have this wordplay in the opposite way. There were some misunderstood readers of the title, believing that ” Capitalism ” was the operative word, and that the authors were therefore justifying or defending the concept of capitalism . It does not endorse the “pathological” qualities inherent in pure capitalism . [5]

Other editions

  • Zi4 ran2 zi1 ben3 lun4 , Chinese (simplified characters) edition of Natural Capitalism (2000, Shanghai Popular Science Press) ISBN  7-5427-1846-0
  • Capitalismo naturale (2001, Edizione Ambiente, Milano), ISBN  88-86412-80-0
  • Japanese edition of Natural Capitalism (2001, Nikkei, Tokyo) ISBN  4-532-14871-5
  • Chinese (complex characters) edition of Natural Capitalism (2002, Commonwealth, Taipei) ISBN  957-0395-61-3
  • Öko-Kapitalismus: The Industrial Die Revolution of 21 . Jahrhunderts (2002, Riemann, München) ISBN  978-1-4000-3941-8
  • Loodus-kapitalism: uue tööstusrevolutionsiooni algus (2003 [Estonian]) ISBN  9985-62-131-X
  • Capitalismo Natural (Editora Cultrix, São Paulo), ISBN  85-316-0644-6
  • Natural Capitalism: How to reconcile economy and environment (2008, Scali, Paris) ISBN  978-2-35012-221-2
  • Korean edition of Natural Capitalism (~ 2011, Gongjon, Seoul)

See also

  • Climate Capitalism
  • Climate change controversy
  • Climate change policy of the United States
  • Eco-capitalism
  • Media coverage of climate change
  • Merchants of Doubt


  1. Jump up^ Carouthers, Andre (March 31, 2000). “Yes Magazine Book Reviews: Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution” . YES! Magazine .
  2. Jump up^ Natural Capitalism, Inc.
  3. ^ Jump up to:b Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution, Lovins, Lovins, & Hawken, 2000
  4. ^ Jump up to:b Book Review: Natural Capitalism
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Kamal Patel (September 25, 2009). “Worldchanging Interview: Paul Hawken” . Worldchanging . Retrieved July 8, 2014 .

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *