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The notion that business depends on the earth’s natural resources and that there’s an economic rationale to using them wisely – the core idea of ‘natural capitalism’ – is increasingly taking root.

At Unilever we rely on nature for many of the ingredients and raw materials that make up our products. We are working in partnership with others to explore how natural capital can be better integrated into business decision-making.

“We’re seeing the solutions start to manifest themselves because they are better, they are more profitable and they deliver us a higher quality of life,” says Hunter Lovins, co-author of the best-selling book, Natural Capitalism.

For those in business wanting to make a difference to the world around them, she has two pieces of advice. The first is simple: ‘do it, start’. If that sounds scary, then consider her second word of advice: read everything you can find, discuss it with other like-minded folk, and then go out and start.

“Have ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions, where someone reads an article or a book and then reports to the group on what they’ve learned. And then ask yourself, ‘how can I implement this in my business?’”

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