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Scotland’s Natural Capital, our natural assets and the services and value that come from them, is at the heart of so much of the work we carry out at Harper Macleod. How we nurture, protect, manage and make use of our natural ecosystem is fundamental to the country having a healthy and sustainable economy.  That’s why we have made Natural Capital, and the many things that flow from it, a central focus on the firm in the coming year.

Only now, 250 years since the first steam engine spluttered into life, is society contemplating the impact we are having on the natural world. We have delved deep into the collective overdraft and the scientific community is clear … we are going to struggle to pay it off.

Natural Capital is our stock of natural assets including geology, air, soil, water and all living things, and is estimated to be worth nearly £1 trillion within the UK. The Highlands and Islands have a wide range of habitats and ecosystems that provide social, environmental and economic benefits to humans.

We are seeing an increasing number of clients and public bodies seek advice on how best to improve their natural capital portfolios. While our involvement in Natural Capital goes across almost every sector and service, there are three key strands: Climate change; Marine Economy; Modern Rural Economy.

Much of the work we do involves helping in the development of communities, the rural and marine economies, and making the most of our Natural Capital. Nature-based solutions to climate change – renewable energy, forestry planting, peatland restoration, changes in farming practices and much more – are among the efforts to better look after our Natural Capital.

The future is now. In order to achieve net zero by 2045 we must take challenging strides and potentially reassess priorities. We must look to solutions, often supported by government grant schemes, in order to meet our repayment plan to the world we live in.