Forget sustainability, it’s time for regenerative business

Posted November 22, 2021, at 07.01

Everyone wants to be sustainable and responsible. When some undertake to reduce their negative externalities, others are proud of not being the worst students. Sustainability has become a propaganda tool that frees individuals from their harmful imprint on society.

Facts are there and no one can ignore them. Sustainability as it exists today will not allow us to address the challenges we face. The heart of the problem remains the same: an economic model based on infinite growth, extraction of resources and exploitation of individuals.

Lack of political ambition and normalization of the status quo of companies is heading for disaster. We need entrepreneurs to serve our humanity.

The obvious failure of CSR and sustainability policy

The slowness of public policy and the lack of ambition are largely to blame for this situation. The result of CSR policies shows an obvious lack of sincerity and commitment.

The large groups of CAC 40 play the system by allocating a small portion of their profits in recruiting CSR teams without stopping their harmful activities. The approaches are short-term and devoid of a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing our society.

A majority of companies use CSR as a cover to ignore the real problems of the necessary transition. The lack of transparency and accountability is obvious. Shocking. Corporate doublespeak confuses the general public and sucks the necessary energy to support the many truly committed actors.

The regenerative model in sight

While sustainability aims to reduce negative externalities in a divided way, the regenerative approach has the ambition of giving more back to society than what is taken from it.

The planet can no longer be considered as a resource, but as a conscious living being. This distinction is essential in a world that consumes 1.75 times its capacity to regenerate each year (source: Earth Overshoot – Overshoot 2021).

The great challenge of our time now is to restore the health of our planet, regenerate its ecosystems and promote equality. This requires that we take only what we really need and restore the areas we affect. This is the only solution available to us.

The regenerative society

Regenerative businesses have a systemic approach to the challenges of our society with a global vision of their impact. They serve people and the planet. At the same time as one adapts sufficiently to the rhythms and currents of nature and favors a much healthier return to the natural order, which puts man at the center of the debate.

Companies in this movement aim to solve a social and environmental challenge in order to leave a positive legacy for future generations. They are based on four basic elements: the planet, people, places and partners.

Regenerative businesses have a direct relationship with nature. They exist in harmony with the living and understand their integrated role in ecosystems and offer more than they take from the environment. They see themselves as a living organism.

They are inclusive to allow liberation and well-being for all, diversity and horizontality. They enable the empowerment and inclusive participation of local communities. They pay particular attention to places that promote the implementation of solutions that meet local needs.

They promote collaboration between individuals and organizations so that everyone can make their unique contribution. They facilitate interactions between sectors with the aim of co-creating solutions that result from joint consultations.

The example of Aduna

Regenerative companies follow the model with the “positive compass” – a holistic and dynamic tool that represents the problems in the world that we must co-create. This tool helps guide businesses and support an economy that earns life on earth while respecting planetary boundaries. This inclusive model allows everyone to have a positive impact.

An example ? The Aduna company, whose model is regenerative, aims to create sustainable incomes for African rural areas while guaranteeing healthy food for the population. Aduna enables economic development of communities in Ghana and Burkina Faso with more than 1,800 producers.

The household’s income has increased tenfold, supporting better education, better nutrition and health care for their 11,000 relatives. Aduna supports the initiative of the Great Green Wall in Africa, which regenerates the poor soils of the Sahel and at the same time promotes biodiversity. In line with this regeneration goal, she grows 12,000 new baobab trees throughout the region.

WE ALL have a role to play

After centuries of exponential economic growth, we desperately need an economy of restorers and regenerators.

Entrepreneurs are now entering a new era where transparency, accountability and systemic consideration of their impact are becoming the new norm.

Entrepreneurs, it’s time to rethink our approaches. The era of sustainability is behind us. We must now embark on a real transformation based on people and nature. Together we can build a future that lives up to our ambition.

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