Networking Nature

Winter 2024

How we are Pioneering the Natural Capital Economy with Silicon Valley Strategies

Understanding Network Businesses

To appreciate the potential of Oxygen Conservation, it’s crucial to first understand what a network business is…

Network businesses operate on a model where the value to each participant or aspect of the business increases as more participants or aspects join the network. This concept is evident in companies like Facebook, where the more users join, the more valuable the network becomes for social connectivity, or in Uber, where an increase in drivers and riders enhances the utility and efficiency of the service. The success of a network business largely hinges on scaling, data efficiency and utilisation, and creating a community or ecosystem that becomes progressively more valuable and self-sustaining.

In our mission to Scale Conservation and deliver positive environmental and social impact we’re working hard to harness these network effects to help grow the entire Natural Capital Economy – creating a self-reinforcing system that scales the level of investment in the protection and restoration of the natural world.

Let’s explore some of the lessons we’ve applied from Silicon Valley and how we’re seeking to apply them to create a networking effect across the growing natural capital economy…

Lesson Applied from Silicon Valley

Market Leading Landscape Portfolio

Just as network businesses like Facebook and Airbnb grew their user bases and listings respectively, we have successfully built the country’s largest natural capital portfolio valued at over £100m. This significant landholding provides us with a market-leading position in the UK, with each additional investment adding to that advantage. Further investments in land acquisition not only increase this asset base but also raise the overall value of land designated for natural capital purposes, mirroring how network businesses increase their value as they scale.

Just as Uber expanded rapidly by increasing its network of drivers and riders, we have moved quickly to acquire ten different Estates in eight counties and three countries. Uber’s growth strategy, scaling by broadening its service areas and user base, mirrors our expansion in the natural capital sector through increasing the number and variety of land assets and therefore producing premium natural capital products and services in hugely different geographies.

Proprietary Data-Led Approach for Value Creation

We are unashamedly data geeks, and this has informed our unique and proprietary data-led approach to land acquisition. This approach echoes the way that companies like Google and Amazon use data to drive innovation and efficiency. By identifying landholdings with untapped value creation potential, we are able to maximize the impact of our investments in the natural capital economy, similar to how tech giants personalise user experiences and optimise their services. Google’s success in utilizing data for optimizing search algorithms and ad targeting is akin to our data-led approach in land acquisition. In this way, our strategy in identifying lands with high-value creation potential is similar to how Google leverages data to capitalize on user trends and preferences.

Selective Investment Strategy

Our data-led approach also gives us the ability to assess and value millions of acres, including around 80% of Scotland’s land mass, allowing us to be incredibly selective in our investments. This approach has echoes of how network businesses like Netflix curate content, focusing on quality and relevance to strengthen confidence and set standards in the streaming industry and of their own individual business. It is our hope that demonstrating the scalability of our investment strategy will help others enter the natural capital economy thereby again adding to the network effect.

First-Mover Advantage in a Niche Market

Thanks to the incredible support of the Oxygen House Group, we have been able to position Oxygen Conservation as one of the first meaningful movers in the natural capital network business. As a result, we now enjoy preferential opportunities in a limited market. This advantage is comparable to how companies like eBay or Amazon established themselves as pioneers in their respective online marketplaces. eBay’s early establishment in the online marketplace allowed it to capture a significant user base and set market standards, a path we are trying to emulate in the natural capital sector by building the first conservation-focused natural capital portfolio and by inspiring others to also enter this new asset class.

Expert Team as a Barrier to Entry

Establishing a team of experts in a field where specialised knowledge is rare creates a significant barrier to entry, much like how technology companies maintain a competitive edge through their intellectual property and capital. Our award-winning team (shout out to you all here!) not only enhances our commercial advantage and operational efficiency but also has the network effect of helping increase our profile and brand awareness helping attract more and more talented people to join our growing team (summer internship programme is launching soon).

Apple’s success, driven by its team of experts in technology and design, reflects a similar advantage and inspires our work at Oxygen Conservation. Apple’s expertise in creating user-friendly and innovative products has created a high barrier to entry into the tech industry, just as our incredibly special team solidifies its standing as the market leader in the growing natural capital economy – we’re so grateful talented people want to come and be part of the adventure!

Setting Industry Standards

By committing to delivering the highest-quality natural capital products and services, Oxygen Conservation aims to elevate the performance of the entire industry. This strategy is similar to how Apple set high standards in consumer electronics, allowing them to charge a premium and lead the market in innovation and quality. Similarly, Oxygen Conservation is striving to elevate the performance and quality of carbon credits, BNG units, and nature credits (and future products, services, tokens, and derivatives).

Increasing Value and Entry Cost with Growth

As we continue to acquire land to Scale Conservation, the cost of entering the natural capital economy will increase, thus elevating the value of our initial investments and developing natural capital products and services. This growth pattern is observed in successful network businesses like LinkedIn, where the platform’s value increased with its expanding professional network. We fully appreciate this will increase the value and therefore cost of land and we hope this will go some of the way to ensuring we truly value nature moving forward.

Reduced Costs and Increased Demand with Scale

The infusion of additional investment into the natural capital economy will likely make it more efficient to development and delivery conservation and habitat creation activities. This will result in the overheads required to develop natural capital products and services reducing, thereby increasing profit margins and demand. Tesla’s approach in the electric vehicle market, achieving economies of scale to reduce costs and increase demand acts as an inspiration for Oxygen Conservation. As Tesla expanded production, it reduced costs and increased demand for electric vehicles, a pattern Oxygen Conservation aims to replicate in creating natural capital products and services. And before anyone reading this yells about how electric vehicles aren’t perfect, of course they aren’t but whilst you wait for perfect we will continue making progress towards better.

Responding to Environmental Challenges as a Business Opportunity

Unfortunately, the worsening climate crisis and loss of species increase the demand and urgent need for our work and in this, we find a bittersweet business opportunity. Similar to how renewable energy companies have grown in response to the global energy crisis, the less society does to actually tackle climate change the more valuable Oxygen Conservation becomes. Tesla’s growth amidst the global shift towards sustainable energy mirrors how we hope Oxygen Conservation will expand due to the increasing demand for high quality, natural capital solutions.

The Greatest Hedge Against Climate Change

In many ways, Oxygen Conservation is both a hedge against humanity’s climatic and ecological failures while also an investment in hope and action to address the planet’s greatest challenges. This dual role positions us uniquely, similar to how companies in Silicon Valley (many tech firms) seek to balance profitability with environmental responsibility. Microsoft stands as a leading example in this, particularly in their fight against climate change. Their ambitious goal to become carbon negative by 2030 is a testament to their commitment. This involves removing more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit, achieved through investments in renewable energy, reforestation, and carbon capture technologies.

Incredible Potential

We all stand at the cusp of a transformative era in environmental sustainability and economic growth. Our innovative model, combining the principles of successful network businesses like Uber, Google, Apple, and Microsoft is not just a pioneering venture in the realm of natural capital; it’s a blueprint for a sustainable future with multibillion-dollar potential.

The core strategy of Oxygen Conservation — acquiring and managing land for positive environmental and social impact, creating natural capital as a product of our work — harbours immense global potential. As we expand our footprint, the value of our assets and the impact of our interventions and initiatives are poised to escalate dramatically, creating a network effect that we hope will be felt across the growing natural capital economy and beyond. This growth trajectory mirrors the expansive reach of companies like Amazon and Facebook, which have shown how scalable models can lead to exponential growth and global influence.

The data-driven approach of Oxygen Conservation, akin to Google’s strategy, ensures that each investment and initiative is optimized for maximum environmental, social, and economic returns ahead of purchase. This meticulous strategy in selecting and managing land assets positions Oxygen Conservation at the forefront of untapped natural capital markets worldwide, much like how Tesla identified and capitalized on the burgeoning demand for sustainable transportation.

Moreover, our model of increasing the value and entry cost with its growth, similar to Amazon’s expansion strategy, indicates a future where our early investments in land and natural capital will appreciate significantly. This appreciation not only promises substantial financial returns but also ensures larger, more impactful environment and social outcomes, which is our core purpose.

Our Why

In a world grappling with the pressing challenges of climate collapse and environmental crisis, the demand for sustainable and restorative practices is growing exponentially. Oxygen Conservation, with its dual focus on positive environment and social impact and profitable growth, is perfectly positioned to meet this demand. We hope our potential to attract global investments and partnerships, akin to the wide-reaching networks of Facebook and Uber, can turn Oxygen Conservation into an architect of a global natural capital economy.

The model we’ve developed, borrowing so much from the incredible companies mentioned above, is more than a business strategy; it’s an opportunity for action for corporations, governments, and communities to invest in our planet’s future. Our vision aligns economic incentives with ecological stewardship, creating a win-win scenario for investors and the environment alike.

As we seek to Scale Conservation and replicate the Oxygen Conservation model across different regions, we hope to create a global network of natural capital assets, contributing significantly to the fight against climate chaos and the biodiversity collapse at an increasingly more meaningful scale.

In essence, Oxygen Conservation is not just restoring land; it’s about restoring hope. We are committed to being a beacon for a future where economic growth and environmental sustainability are not competing interests but are intricately intertwined. The potential of Oxygen Conservation extends beyond financial metrics; it’s about setting a precedent for how businesses can be a force for good by delivering positive environmental and social impact, providing a profit as the result, not the purpose of what business does!


Rich Stockdale
Managing Director