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: 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 story so far
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.
Back then the term Net Positive had many different interpretations and there was a pressing need within the group to establish a shared understanding.
Taking advantage of the creative and trusted environment of the collaborative setting, the members - BT, Capgemini, Dell, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, Ikea, Kingfisher, Pepsico, SKF, The Crown Estate and TUI Group - set out to develop a mutual understanding of the Net Positive concept through sharing their knowledge and experiences. Within a year of inception the group had laid out 12 principles that characterise the approach, tying together all of the areas in which organisations should act.
The NPG then turned its attention to developing 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.
Introducing the Net Positive Coalition
A key success of the NPG was its affirmation of the vast potential of the Net Positive movement. To take things forward we now need to understand what real success will look like and how we can get there.
The newly founded Net Positive Coalition opens its arms to all organisations committed to becoming Net Positive, and is made up of several of the founder NPG members, as well as a breadth of other businesses, NGOs and academics, each eager to bring their energy and fresh ideas into the mix, including BSR and SHINE.
Our initial focus is on devising a vision of what a successful Net Positive movement will look like, and fleshing out a road map for how we plan to get there.
The coalition aims to establish itself as the global authority on Net Positive, with an ongoing responsibility for developing resources – best practice, guidance and tools – strengthening the theory and driving awareness and engagement.
Our plan is to launch the vision in February 2016, so stay tuned for updates!
Find out more
The following reports have been developed to help organisations that are thinking about making a Net Positive commitment and are free to download:
- Net Positive: A new way of doing business – 12 principles that can be used as a checklist for good practice;
- Measuring your way to Net Positive – intended as a guide to helping you to put the right measures in place;
- Communicating Net Positive – this guide will help you to tell your story in a clear and compelling way.
Whether your organisation has already made a Net Positive commitment or is thinking of doing so, we want to hear from you. Please get in touch with Zoe Le Grand to tell us about your Net Positive journey and discuss ways of getting involved with the coalition.
- Eight steps to make the idea of 'net positive' more than simply jargon, by Sally Uren
- Net positive - the next step for sustainability pioneers, by Sally Uren
- Over the overdraft, by Zoe Le Grand
- The many benefits of being net positive, by Zoe Le Grand
- Net Positive- Revolution not Evolution, by Helen Clarkson
- Telling your Net Positive story: 7 principles for demonstrating your company's positive impact, by Zoe Le Grand