What is Net Positive?

Net Positive is a new way of doing business which puts back more into society, the environment and the global economy than it takes out.

Organisations that take a Net Positive approach share an ambition to grow their brand, have strong financial performance and attract the brightest talent. Spread across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, they recognise that business is a marathon, not a sprint, along new routes that are still emerging. The destination for each is the same: to become thriving organisations that deliver benefits that extend far beyond traditional organisational boundaries.

Becoming Net Positive requires organisations to be ambitious and plan for long-term success. They have to go beyond risk avoidance and incremental improvements and start to innovate.  

The Net Positive Project

The Net Positive Project opens its arms to all organisations committed to becoming Net Positive. It is made up of several of the founder NPG members, as well as a breadth of other businesses, NGOs and academics, including BSR and Gregory A. Norris, co-director of SHINE.

At its launch on 7 June 2016 at Sustainable Brands San Diego, the Net Positive Project set out a five-year vision of what a successful Net Positive movement will look like, and fleshed out a road map for how we will get there.

The project aims to establish itself as the global authority on Net Positive, making it a standard way for companies to quantify, assess and enhance their positive impacts. The project will have an ongoing responsibility for developing resources, such as best practice, guidance and tools, aligning Net Positive with other parallel movements such as Circular Economy, strengthening the theory and driving awareness and engagement.

How we got here

In 2013, Forum for the Future worked with The Climate Group and WWF to convene the Net Positive Group (NPG) - a collaboration of different organisations united by their aim to have a positive impact and a commitment to increasing the number of companies making these ambitious pledges.

Members of the NPG included BT, Capgemini, Dell, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, Ikea, Kingfisher, Pepsico, SKF, The Crown Estate and TUI Group. Within a collaborative, creative and trusted setting, they worked together to share knowledge and experiences to develop a mutual understanding of the Net Positive concept.

Within a year of inception, the group laid out 12 principles that characterise the Net Positive approach, tying together all of the areas in which organisations should act.

The NPG also developed a Net Positive measurement framework to enable outcomes to be measured accurately and consistently, and provided guidance on how to communicate an organisation’s approach in a clear and compelling way.

The NPG was a strong affirmation of the wide interest in the concept, and of the vast potential of creating a movement to transform the way business operates in today’s social, economic and environmental context.

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