Beyond Sustainability: reinventing business to regenerate the planet.
4 may 2021
In the wake of the pandemic, as businesses return to growth within a new consumer reality of redefined habits, ideals and behaviour; the need to change old models and processes to ensure profitability in the future is exacerbated by the loud voices of the public demanding greener alternatives, more sustainable solutions and demonstration of positive impact.
Witnessing nature starting to rebuild itself during a slow in human activity has triggered the realisation that we can regenerate vital resources, eco-systems and habitats if we radically change our behaviour. The pandemic has had the positive effect in that it’s brought people, organisations and governments together across the globe to help sustain and strengthen this trend. COVID-19 might just prove to be the long-needed catalyst for radical change in how we produce, consume and discard - moving us towards a regenerating economy.
In the midst of fear and isolation we are learning that profound change is possible
– Rebecca Solnit, writer, historian and activist
The Sprouting of New Green Plans
The increasing demand from the public for more sustainable, circular and transparent solutions and services are being echoed in new green plans and ambitious initiatives to reach our 2030 targets amongst leaders across the globe. Joe Biden’s pledge to rebuild what Trump tore down and rejoining the Paris Agreement is helping to spur on other countries and reinstall a sense of urgency and possibility of rebuilding economies with decarbonisation and sustainability at its core.
These new pledges and plans aim to instil more accountability and responsibility in both organisations and business and create globally collaborative roadmaps for addressing the 17 SDG’s. The laws and regulations that follow the plans also impacts on investment structures and will unlock incentives, benefits and capital for businesses to reinvent and redesign their processes and models. The stick and the carrot being put in place from regulatory bodies combined with the demands from the public and the increasing access to tools and technology should help trigger a radical shift in business operations that will reverse our trajectory, not just slow it, and return to business growth within a new framework of circularity.
Businesses of the Future Must Operate in Service of People and Planet
Rethinking business models with regenerative processes at the core will not only help restore and regenerate the natural resources needed to sustain business operations, but will also unlock immense opportunities for new business verticals, improved systems and more profitable and sustainable solutions. The increasing regulations and sophistication of ESG reporting along with globally consistently adopted performance indicators such as GRI means the way we measure profit is changing.
Businesses operating in the true service of people and planet will therefore perform better than then their less adaptable counterparts as Brand Equity Value and profitability of the company will be measured against ESG performance and a sustainably centered trippel bottom line.
Making the adjustments required to operate in a more circular economy with more sustainable and inclusive solutions is less disruptive, less risky and less costly than before, removing the validity of the traditional excuses of cowardice. Leapfrogging technologies in renewables, increased innovation in open-source solutions and supply-chain transparency in block-chain makes the move to regeneration accessible, manageable and scalable. It creates drastic turn-key opportunities for innovating and enhancing how we source, produce, consume and discard.
Highlighting the trend and echoing the identified benefits of a sustainable business model is the latest forecast from The World Economic Forum, predicting that a “nature-positive” economy could unlock $10.1 trillion in business value annually by 2030.
We are entering a new green economic era, where companies can easily identify and mitigate existing processes and solutions with potential negative impact on business and adapt accordingly, access new capital through the rise of green investment funds and attract the best young talent; now demanding the companies they choose to work for to have sustainability solidly centered at the heart of business.
Too many companies are, as always, failing to recognise the changing times and the need to adapt and change. Why, given all the compelling facts and bulletproof data we have today about what businesses must do to survive and thrive in the future, are so many still hesitant? Greed and fear. Two very dangerous enemies to the planet.
If you look at the changes that are required to make any radical impact, these two beasts quickly rear their ugly heads. Dramatic change to operating models can seem too daunting and too drastic to implement, and many industries are now looking for the ‘path of least resistance’, such as the bridging solution of LNG offered up by the fossil fuel companies. However, like with this pathetic attempt at reputation management, anything that can be revealed as greenwashing will do irreparable damage to a brand, something consumers of today will not let you get away with.
Change doesn’t have to be so hard and disruption doesn’t have to be negative. Forward thinking companies are recognising the opportunity in radical change for better through strategic partnerships and supply chain collaborations that boost a circular and regenerative economy. The ability to effectively identify the right partners and suppliers, build the right value chain model and then track and report on impact with honesty and transparency is made easier through blockchain, global reporting templates and technology to easily capture and analyse data.
Time for a Regenerative Revolution
The pandemic shook us to the core, but in the wake of this disaster comes a sense of hope, of new opportunities and a chance to do better and rebuild the world that we have been tearing down. In the aftermath of COVID-19, we have Petrichor. The scent of rain falling on dry earth. The scent of regeneration and new life.
We have all the tools, we have the technology and we have the resources needed to meet the loud public demand for more cost-effective, transparent and accessible sustainable solutions.
With the New Green Plans being put in place, with increased capital being realised for green solutions; and with a young, hungry and innovative generation coming up with their eyes set squarely on participating in the Regenerative Revolution, reinventing business in a framework of circularity must happen. Contributing to a nature-positive economy is what will make business survive and thrive. Because……
Change is coming, whether
you like it or not
– Greta Thunberg, climate activist
To find out how you can make changes to your model and strengthen your position and reputation more effectively through sustainable communications solutions, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author
Enabling the forces of change to create a more sustainable future.
Without trivialising the challenges, uncertainties and difficulties we are facing now in these unprecedented times, I'm somewhat uplifted by the changes we're seeing across production, transportation and consumption. Changes that could offer hope for the future of our planet