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Natural Capital Accounting

One of our latest on-farm studies has developed a new method of measuring environmental health to enable Australian woolgrowers to track the health of their environment over time..

With some 80% of the investment in a farm tied up in the land base, it makes good sense for producers to incorporate a measurement of the condition of this important business asset into their thinking on profit.

Natural Capital Accounting is a new way of thinking that can help producers objectively measure their farm’s environmental assets (ie natural capital, such as soil, water and vegetation). It can help producers view the environmental impacts of their farming alongside their existing financial measures of profit – and help them track changes in natural capital over time, and identify and monitor the relationship between farming practice, environmental impact and farm business performance.

Natural Capital Accounting focuses on these key indicators:


Ecosystem services
12 criteria, including regulating services like water purification and pollination, habitat services such as biodiversity protection and provisioning services such as food, fibre and forage production.


Ecosystem type and use
In line with guidance from the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), the study identified the type and use of the ecosystem, to identify the ecological state of the environment.


Environment Profit & Loss
The study calculated each farm’s environmental impact using the 31 metrics of Kering’s EP&L methodology to compare each farm’s individual impact with conventional wool production estimates.


Carbon sequestration estimates
Total farm carbon emissions were calculated and estimates of carbon storage created to calculate each farms carbon sequestration per annum.


Long-term groundcover
Using a commercially available GIS information system the ground cover of each farm was assessed over a 13 year period. To calculate average groundcover.


Ecosystem capacity
The capacity of the farm ecosystem to provide reliable quality forage for livestock was assessed to better understand the value of natural capital.




Spotlight case studies

The first pilot study included 11 wool-growing farms in eastern Australia selected as they covered a diverse range of climates, production systems and landscapes.

Natural Capital Accounting provides an opportunity for woolgrowers to clearly document and market the positive environmental impacts of their on-farm management to interested buyers and the wider industry, in language they can understand.


Central West of NSW

Glenwood is a 2,972 hectare property located in the Central West of NSW. The property, which ranges from undulating to hilly healthy grassy woodlands and native pastures, is ideal for breeding Merino sheep, which is exactly what owners Norm and Pip Smith do.



Northern Tablelands of NSW

Tim and Suzanne Wright own ‘Lana’, a 3,470 hectare property on the Northern Tablelands of NSW, where they run Merino sheep and breeding cows. Tim was an early adopted of Holistic Planned Grazing and along with increasing flock size and production, has seen remarkable increases in biodiversity, groundcover and resilience.


Taylors Run

Northern Tablelands of NSW

Taylors Run is a 647 hectare family owned and operated property located near Kentucky in the Northern Tablelands of NSW. The Taylors produce 16 micron superfine Merino wool grown by 3500 un-mulesed sheep and aim to produce their fibre in an ethically and environmentally sustainable way.



Central Tablelands of NSW

Colin Seis and his son Nick run 3,500 Merinos, grow cereal crops, and harvest native grass seed on the family’s 840 hectare property ‘Winona’ in the Central Tablelands of NSW. Colin and his neighbour Daryl Cluff developed a technique they call ‘pasture cropping’ which is now recognised as a revolutionary way to grow crops regeneratively.




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