Opportunity-cost-based monetization

The Upright net impact framework includes two categories that represent opportunity costs:

  • Scarce Human Capital represents scarce resources provided by people

  • Scarce Natural Resources represent scarce resources provided by the planet

Given that the use of scarce resources by the private sector does not lead to direct harm or benefit to its surroundings, the appropriate economic cost of these resources depends on available opportunities to create positive and negative impacts.

Such opportunity costs are quantified on the basis of the average net impact of products and services that use these resources.

Upright derives the total opportunity cost (to be distributed for all companies using these resources) for the two categories as follows:

  1. The net sum of monetized outputs and impacts, excluding opportunity costs is $10.10 trillion (see here for details)

  2. The total opportunity cost is attributed between human capital and natural resources is attributed on the basis of the UNEP Inclusive Wealth Report: the global per capita wealth in natural capital and human capital are estimated to be $30,830 and $139,140 respectively.

  3. Attributing the total opportunity cost to people and the planet in proportion yields:

    • Scarce Natural Resources: $1.83 trillion (18.14% of total human and natural capital)

    • Scarce Human Capital: $8.27 trillion (81.86% of total human and natural capital)

Not all resources consumed by the private sector are scarce and therefore do not have a meaningful opportunity cost. Such abundant resources include e.g., information.

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