How to build a regenerative business
It is best revealed that if you want to create a difference in the world or society, you can effectively do it through business. Businesses can create many economic benefits, products, and services, especially sustainable ones.
However, this is not the driving factor for most businesses, as they don’t want to create any difference in the world or society. Profit seems to be the only measure of success. However, consumer trends are changing – more consumers are already making changes in their consumption habits that are more sustainable.
Sustainability vs Regeneration
Sustainability is confined only to business and related activities. But in reality, we need to do much more than just maintain what we have. There is a growing need to rebuild the ecosystem and foster the growing forests. The responsibility also lies with the business as it is the driving force that creates demand for products and services in society.
Sustainability is now greenwashed to the extent that it is almost meaningless. Businesses are regarded to be “sustainable” if it has one or two initiatives.
Regeneration – on the other hand – means giving back more than what we take. It creates new standards for businesses to work towards solutions. Regenerative business looks at the whole picture and not just sustainably as a separate department. It puts the responsibility of people and the planet at the core of all the activities that are significant for the environment.
Instead of just planting a tree to compensate, a regenerative business replaces material in the first place that they know causes deforestation. If we need to improve the world, we need more regenerative businesses.
How to impose/create regenerative initiatives in business
The regenerative initiatives can be overwhelming and taxing, but as leaders, businesses are expected to take bold initiatives. The company has a good stake in creating social and environmental problems we experience, hence the business is at an obligation to create remedies for the same.
At the start of regenerative initiatives, there are three main categories – product, people, and process.
Products are the main focus of the business. It entails materials that are sourced and processed. It is possible that they can be sustainably procured or exploited. Even though materials like cotton and hemp are regenerative and sustainable, the process of cultivating them can be damaging. If the source of the material is important, so is the process of its making. Many things are not regenerative – like plastics. But these materials are necessary for many products, which makes it impossible to completely eradicate them.
If a business wants to create a regenerative product, it needs to assess and evaluates the entire lifecycle of the product – from making material to discarding the final product after use. To restore the damage caused, businesses are parallelly creating further processing programs for recycling or reuse to minimize the waste from the product.
Manpower is a crucial factor for the business. However, it is one of the most exploited categories. For a business to be regenerative, a business needs to consider all the stakeholders – community, employees, and consumers. Everyone should be fairly treated, throughout the supply chain. It is important to employ fair trade and labour practices so that everyone benefits.
By just ensuring a fair living wage for the workers and comfortable working conditions is one of the biggest things that a business can do for uplifting the community. Fair wages are a crucial part of economic development and empowerment. It creates freedom for the people to afford education and balance.
It is also important to note that the local community, where the business resides, manufactures, and operates also needs to be taken care of. Businesses should make sure that the environment is not exploited and does not intervene in the health, safety, and livelihood of the local community. The vegetation, in and around the area, should be restored and safeguarded without any threat to the wildlife and local communities.
The regenerative initiatives are quite easy to implement on this factor as any negative impact can be restored by initiatives and activities that compensate and nullifies the damage caused. There are many simple and effective strategies to reduce waste from running factories and other operational activities.
Businesses have the potential to be greatly destructive but also can impact positively – depending on the regenerative goals like caring for the environment, empowering people, and cultivating better communities. It is essential to move beyond the short-term sustainable practices and observe greater objectives.
The best part about a business being regenerative is that it helps them to draft a solid purpose and initiatives that can deliver to be profitable, and loyal and also create trust faster than any other company. Building a regenerative business may look like a lot of work, but tackling the impact of the business – sets an example for the world to look at.