Business Solving Our Biggest Problems, page 3
Beyond Sustainability to Regeneration and Thriving…and Then to the World We Want
Sustainability isn’t enough! Sustainability is building systems that keep things the way they are. But that means atmospheric carbon stays at 398.78 parts per million,² high above the safe limit of 350. It means 805 million people around the world are not getting enough to eat, and 3.1 million children die each year of preventable hunger,³ while preventable air pollution kills another 7 million people every year.⁴
Sustainability is an important first step—but only a first step—making sure things stay at least as good as they are. The planet needs to regenerate—to return to something as good as or better than what had existed before human intervention—and the enterprise needs to thrive: making a profit while doing this good work.
Step 2 is regeneration and thriving. Let’s create systems that restore the functions and capabilities we’ve lost. We’ll bring atmospheric carbon back below 350 ppm, return disrupted ecosystems to balance, increase the population of species on the brink of extinction. We’ll use biomimicry to figure out how to do much more with much less. And create thriving profitable businesses based on these concepts.
Step 3 is social change: Tackling the world’s deep, systemic problems in ways that not only address the root causes but build an economic foundation for long-term success. For example, as eco-friendly business ventures lift the most disadvantaged out of poverty and the earth out of environmental disaster, the formerly ultra-poor begin to gain economic freedom; they can become a new, untapped market.
In Step 4, we create an ideal world of peace, prosperity, and planetary balance. We may not live to see this change, but we can take responsibility for creating it—as previous generations did for us.
All four steps hold significant profit opportunities for businesses willing to step forward. Please visit the consulting page for more information.
 December, 2014 figure found at http://co2now.org/current-co2/co2-now/global-carbon-emissions.html, accessed 2/10/15
 http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats, accessed 3/14/15
 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/, accessed 3/3/15