Scottish Natural Capital Accounts 2022

This report estimates quantity and value of services supplied by Scotland's natural capital.

6. Asset valuation

Here we present the asset values of Scottish natural capital by service. These values are estimated by capitalising the total annual flow of services from the natural resource that are expected to take place over a projected period, known as the asset life. The annual environmental service flows provide the basis for these projected flows. This is a method known as Net Present Valuation (NPV), which is explained in more detail in the methodology section.

Some of the environmental services presented in this article are produced from renewable resources whose stock is not exhausted over time, such as Scottish woodland delivering carbon sequestration. For these renewable resources, a 100-year asset life has been assumed. The non-renewable abiotic resources presented in this article are minerals and fossil fuels, which have an assumed asset life of 25 years.

In 2018, outdoor recreation was equivalent to 30% of the value of Scottish natural capital assets, which in total equalled £62 billion. The second and third largest services were fossil fuels, making up 25% of Scottish natural capital assets, and carbon sequestration, making up 18%, respectively. This is the first year since 2015 that fossil fuels did not constitute the single largest service in terms of asset value.

Figure 38: Scottish natural capital assets were valued at £206 billion in 2018. Asset value by service (£ million, 2020 prices), Scotland, 2018
Figure 38: Horizontal bar chart showing the annual asset value of services for Scotland in 2018, where recreation, fossil fuels and carbon sequestration represent the largest values.

Source : Office for National statistics


1. Values for noise mitigation are from 2018.

2. Values for recreation and aesthetic (house prices) are from 2016.

The asset value of regulating and cultural services amounted to £113 billion in 2018, or 55% of Scotland's total quantified natural asset value.

Figure 39: In 2018, Scotland's natural capital assets equalled 17% of the UK total natural capital asset value. Asset value (£ million, 2020 prices), UK and Scotland, 2018
Figure 39: Vertical bar chart showing the UK’s and Scottish annual natural capital asset value in 2018 where Scottish natural capital assets equalled 17% of the UK total.

Source : Office for National Statistics

Scotland's contribution to the total UK asset value of each ecosystem service ranges from 0.5% (urban cooling) to 88% (fish capture). Scottish contributions to UK total asset values are particularly large across some provisioning services, with Scotland contributing 88% in fish capture, 86% in fossil fuels, 61% in timber and 58% in renewable energy.

Figure 40: Scotland makes a significant contribution to UK provisioning services. Ecosystem service asset values (£ million, 2020 prices), UK, 2018
Figure 40: Stacked horizontal bar chart showing Scotland’s and the rest of the UK’s ecosystem service asset values to show the total UK value, where Scotland makes significant contributions in fossil fuels, fish capture and timber, for example.

Source : Office for National Statistics



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