Tasmania's largest plantation forestry manager has tallied up its environmental contributions into hard-dollar figures in a new kind of financial report.
Forico's natural capital report takes an accountant's approach to ecology, placing monetary values on practices like carbon capture, habitat protection and water filtration - allowing them to be measured alongside more traditional financial metrics like earnings and losses.
The report goes as far as to calculate Forico's net natural capital value - which balances its positive and negative impacts on the environment - at $3.39 billion in the black.
That multibillion-dollar net figure offsets the company's wood fibre business against the some 77,500 hectares of native forest it keeps unhindered, as well as an $8.6 billion valuation of the sequestered carbon across its operations.
Fortico chief executive Brayan Hayes believes the report displays the company's commitment to understanding the value of the land it manages and its impacts on the natural world.
The report has even garnered favour with the Wilderness Society, which is throwing its weight behind attempts to incorporate the value and needs of the environment into age-old financial models. Wilderness Society campaign manager Tom Allen believes the report marks a step in the right direction.
"For a business or a corporation like Forico to step out of the comfort zone into an experimental workspace is quite rare. There's a number of ways in which this is groundbreaking," he said.
Forico's chief financial officer, Rayne Van De Berg, saw the report as an opportunity to display the positive impacts the industry can have.
"Forestry can achieve economic, social and environmental benefits to society, and this report actually articulates in a clear way that we're net positive, as a business," she said.
Alongside Forico's figures, big four accounting firm KPMG submitted an assurance report to support the findings but fell short of an official audit, given the emerging nature of natural capital accounting. With that in mind, economist Saul Eslake would like to see government bodies establish guidelines for companies to follow.
"As with all statistics, you have to make a lot of assumptions," he said.
"For this to become more widespread, there would need to be accounting standards."