“Do no harm” is not good enough any more
Companies like GM, SC Johnson, and Levi Strauss are getting involved in the fight against global warming by looking to reduce their carbon footprint or make their packaging recyclable. Such initiatives will not be enough, however, to save the planet or even meet the expectations of employees and customers.
Settling for sustainable development is not a solution to the current crises, says Navi Radjou. Companies have to take things a stage further and aim for “regeneration”. This concept takes its inspiration from the world of nature and includes:
- Functioning altruistically in your ecosystem, like a forest where trees share information and resources with each other using a deep network of fungi
- Giving more than you take to society and the environment
Is this unrealistic? No, it’s an ambitious goal. Consider the case of Interface, which has succeeded in manufacturing carpets with zero carbon footprint for the past two years. The company just announced that its carpet production now captures more carbon than it emits! It is also rolling out a pilot plant in Australia that aims to recreate a natural ecosystem and make a positive contribution to it.
The bar is high – but so too are expectations. The Covid crisis and the environmental crisis are hitting the planet, communities, and individuals. Companies need to review their business models and production methods together with their entire supply chains so they can have a positive impact in these three areas.
by Navi Radjou (Forbes, October 2020).