A focus on real wealth?
Real wealth, on the other hand, has intrinsic value – whether utilitarian, artistic or spiritual value. We can think about fertile land, healthful food, knowledge, productive labour, pure water and clean air, or physical infrastructure – that all add utilitarian value, each day.
We can also recognise the most important forms of real wealth: healthy, happy children, loving families, caring communities, a beautiful, healthy, natural environment – all these elements are arguably beyond price.
Perhaps we should re-design our economies (and our lives) with real wealth in mind? More work is needed in developing an appropriate view of what \’capital\’ means, in terms of living wealth within a paradigm of sustainable economy.
This might go as far as changing our whole system of money – to one that can direct money to where it connects underutilised resources with unmet needs, and will provide jobs for everyone seeking employment – an economy working for the people, as well as the planet.
Pragmatism and beyond…
It may be that the approach proposed for integrating Natural Capital is completely the right way to go. It may be that, despite any limitations, it presents a pragmatic expedient, to get the incumbents in the world of business and economics to adopt a more holistic approach and start valuing – if not fully appreciating – our natural world and thereby modifying their behaviours towards more sustainable business decisions. After all, with the right standards in place, then businesses will have to act in a more holistic and responsible manner.