Natural capitalism is an economic model that emphasizes the importance of the environment in sustaining the entire economy. It advocates for a radical increase in resource productivity and the use of biomimicry in creating sustainable solutions. The model also promotes a shift towards a service and flow economy, where goods are leased or rented, and manufacturers provide long-lasting, upgradable durables that can be returned for repair and reuse.
One of the key tenets of natural capitalism is the concept of Factor 10 and Factor 4, which refers to achieving a 90% or 75% reduction, respectively, in energy and materials intensity while maintaining the same level of utility. This approach encourages the elimination of waste and inefficiency, resulting in significant cost savings.
The model also emphasizes the importance of investing in natural capital, which includes the resources and ecosystems that sustain life. The value of natural capital is estimated to be $36 trillion annually, highlighting the importance of preserving and utilizing it in a sustainable way.
Other schools of thought that promote sustainable economic models include Cradle to Cradle, Performance Economy, Biomimicry, and Industrial Ecology. These approaches focus on waste reduction, product-life extension, and the study of material and energy flows through industrial systems, among other things.
In conclusion, natural capitalism offers an alternative economic model that recognizes the importance of the environment and promotes sustainable solutions that benefit both society and the economy. By adopting a more sustainable approach, we can achieve greater efficiency, cost savings, and preserve natural resources for future generations.