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  • Writer's pictureAmpersand Partners

Towards a Regenerative Economy

Organisations’ stance and credibility on sustainability is now crucial to their license to operate, and a fundamental part of their purpose. The economy is changing as a result, so there are significant opportunities available.

Identifying the possibilities for positive relationships between people, planet, and profit is essential. CEOs from multiple sectors are seeking to develop adequate systematic thinking and deepen their understanding of sustainability.

Crucial to this is being aware that it is not a linear scenario, a core theme of conversations that Ampersand’s Managing Partner Greg Borel had with the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and engineering consultancy Buro Happold at the recent Out Leadership Europe Summit.

‘Part of why we haven’t had as much progress is that we are largely still focused on incremental tactics built around the existing system but not thinking about fundamental relationships between business, society and the planet. Every industrial nation is off track to meet Paris. It means that despite all the momentum, we are still FAR from the pace of change we need to be.’ Amit Bouri from the Global Impact Investing Network

Over 9500 companies in 160 countries including the likes of Landsec, British Land, and Unilever have signed on to the United Nations Global Compact, supporting companies to align their operations and strategies to ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Buro Happold’s Maria Smith suggests: ‘The reason we haven’t cracked what it really means to be sustainable yet is because it comes down to the fact that we still see ourselves separate to nature. We are still seeing that our success is in opposition to nature’s success and survival. We can’t even conceive of a positive relationship with nature. We think what’s best for nature is that we get out of it and lock ourselves away. So long as we approach it as this sort of negotiation, the best case is a stalemate.’

Is it actually possible to balance the requirements of shareholders with the interests of stakeholders, including people and planet? Or will a deeper shift of economic model be required to lead to a truly sustainable, regenerative economy?



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