The natural step framework is an approach for tackling environmental problems built n agreement and systems assessment (Brenner 2010, 63). Its main alma is to make organizations move towards sustainability by developing a common structure for organizational planning which includes science-based rules. The natural step approach allows organizations to Incorporate the most favorable strategies for dealing with the contemporary world of today (The natural step 2000). It can be used to enable organizations to identify its main concerns of environmental management and consequently set long-term objectives.
The natural step does not only move companies towards sustainability but also maximize short-term profitability and long- ERM flexibility (The natural step 2000). The natural step framework has many advantages. The natural step framework allows organizations to reduce their costs, to enhance quality and productivity. Organizations are also able to find new customers and markets and avoid future liabilities. Natural step framework facilitates the categorization of problems and possible solutions and consequently makes informed Judgments. Therefore, there is the existence of an effective collaboration.
Furthermore, the natural step has defined four system conditions that need to be met for an ecologically sustainable society. These four conditions help to focus on the fundamental causes of social and environmental issues rather than focusing on the symptoms which become visible later. The natural step has the advantages of eradicating the increases in absorption of substances from the earth’s outer layer and substances produced by society, as well as reducing the physical degradation of nature through overstraining, other forms of conversion (The natural step 2000).
Also, there is not the issue where the society needs to be subject to conditions that challenge their capacity to meet their needs (Brenner 2010. 65). However, the main problem with natural step framework is that there is an increase on the reliance and consumption of supporting resources and the life supporting resources that are available are declining (Brenner 2010, 65). On the other hand, natural capitalism refers to the natural resources and the environmental systems that offer life support services to all living things.
These beyond price. However, business practices and public policies do not take into consideration the value attached to them. Therefore, natural capital is being lost and ruined by the careless and inefficient use of natural resources. Natural capitalism sticks to the promise of improved profitability and competitive advantages taking place because of the implementation of this approach (Brenner 2010, 67). The natural capitalism approach also has various strengths.
Organizations implementing the natural capitalism approach will have the advantage of the decrease in operational costs, capital and time (Brenner 2010, 68). Since less money is used up on resources and energy due to the innovation in design and the improvement in efficiency, there is enhanced productivity (Brenner 2010, 67). The main purpose of natural capitalism is to eradicate waste. By so doing, there is the reduction of the reliance on non-renewable inputs, the elimination of waste and toxicity, the rise in the effectiveness of production (Brenner 2010, 68).
Nevertheless, natural capitalism also has weaknesses. The unsafe techniques of using human resources can practically cause damage to the integrity of the culture of the society (Brenner 2010, 69). The two approaches natural step and natural capitalism are seen as company moving to sustainability concepts which can fully exploit the market-based management. Market-based environmentalism enhances market and political forces to promote rewards that industry may gain from safe ecological activities (Brenner 2010, 62).
In the light of the above arguments, it can be seen that the two concepts of natural step and natural capitalism can both be perceived solutions to the problem of environmental issues. However, both approaches have strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, natural step and natural capitalism are described as market-based environmentalism as they both represent implementing solutions to the environmental crisis which use the market-based rule.