National Grid awarded a contract to engineering and construction firm URS to develop a framework on natural capital and ecosystem services—a system that will place a value on the goods and services provided by nature.
URS will advise National Grid on how its business operations might affect the natural world and how the products of nature could impact the UK energy company. Ultimately, URS will help develop and embed a natural capital and ecosystem services program into National Grid’s broader sustainability strategy.
Natural capital comprises the earth’s natural assets (soil, air, water, flora and fauna) and the ecosystem services resulting from them. Natural capital accounting is the process of placing a dollar value on a company’s natural capital impacts in a way that is consistent and scientifically valid.
National Grid plans to introduce its natural capital and ecosystem services approach at a minimum of 50 sites over the next eight years. URS is looking at a sample of 10 sites to develop the framework and guidelines that will eventually be rolled out across National Grid’s entire portfolio.