Download the report:  A Compass for Just and Regenerative Business

The Challenge

The impact and influence of businesses on the world around us is immense and as our major challenges - from climate change and crashing biodiversity to deeply entrenched structural inequality - intensify, there is an urgent need for the private sector to step up

Humanity stands at a crossroads and business leadership will be critical in determining whether we will or won’t be successful in creating a world in which more than nine billion people can thrive within planetary boundaries.

Calls to evolve long-established, conventional ‘sustainability’ strategies are getting louder and the next wave of sustainability will be centred around delivering a ‘just and regenerative’ future. 

And yet:

  • too often, ambition for change falls well short of what’s needed
  • the business case for transformational change has been ambiguous
  • there has been no clear guidance on: what it really means to be both ‘just’ and ‘regenerative’; the shifts needed to get there; and how you can galvanize your teams to make it happen.

Until now. 

A just and regenerative mindset will be the key to unlocking new ways of working and living. It sets out a new guiding star for businesses: an economy that sustains the wellbeing of all and the capacity of our natural world to replenish itself, while enabling long-term, broad-based prosperity.

An opportunity for business to reset 

For decades, Forum has worked in partnership with businesses to support them in not only ‘doing less harm’, but in taking net positive approaches that give back more to society and the environment than they take out. We’re at the forefront of the latest sustainability thinking, what it means in practice as businesses seek to transform the way they operate, and how they can put theory into practice. 

Sustainability doesn’t stand still and today’s leaders could be tomorrow’s laggards. So what does the alternative to today’s business as usual look like and how can we get there?

In partnership with the CEO-led World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), we’ve set out new thinking with the potential to genuinely reset your business’ ambition. 

Published in November 2021, the Compass for Just and Regenerative Business report:

  • outlines the business imperative to shape a just and regenerative future
  • sets out a working definition of what it means to be ‘just’ and ‘regenerative’ 
  • introduces a new ‘Business Transformation Compass’ tool to help businesses navigate the critical shifts needed, and grounds this thinking with practical guidance that explores real world application to business strategy and key functions such as Marketing, Procurement, Corporate Affairs and Human Resources.

Business Transformation Compass

Above: Forum’s Business Transformation Compass is designed to help businesses assess and understand their current mindset and what would be needed to adopt a just and regenerative one.

In addition to synthesising current leading thinking around just and regenerative practice and launching the Business Transformation Compass as a practical tool to aid adopting this new approach, we also have more detailed guidance around the critical shifts needed across key sustainable development issues and business functions. This detailed guidance aims to bridge the gap between inspiring visions or theoretical frameworks and the tangible, practical implications for specific business functions or a company’s approach to key sustainable development issues. We see this as version 1.0 of detailed guidance, and are actively seeking to iterate it with partners and subject matter experts. 

Explore the critical shifts needed

School of System Change taster sessions

You might also be interested in two taster sessions for business leaders which our School of System Change will be hosting in December. We will share more about the Basecamp programme that inspired the report, and the practices that can equip leaders with the tools they need to affect transformation for a sustainable future.

Find out more and register:

Who’s involved and what’s next?

The Compass for Just and Regenerative Business report is intended as a helpful provocation to make authentic engagement from businesses with this emergent area less daunting.

It was produced by Forum for the Future in partnership with WBCSD for people working within businesses on the transformation needed to address the critical global challenges of our time, including mounting inequality, the climate emergency and nature in crisis. It was developed with input from the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and many leading businesses including Unilever, Nestlé, Ingka Group (IKEA), Kimberly-Clark, Seventh Generation, SIG and Capgemini - as well as sustainability leaders such as Bill Reed, Marjorie Kelly and Bill Sharpe.

Produced in partnership with:  

With input from:

Get in touch

Grappling with a sustainability challenge?

Want to feedback on the Business Transformation Compass and/or the detailed guidance underpinning it? 

Contact Forum’s Associate Director - Transformational StrategiesJames Payne, to explore how your organisation can become more future-fit in the way it operates.

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