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Shift from Exclusion to Inclusion: Maximizing positive impact

Positive impact

Wouldn’t it be a great idea if everyone made an effort at bettering the planet? In such an ideal world, everyone’s actions will foster positive impact in many directions.

For long, many of us saw social responsibility as the sole preserve of large polluters (mining, manufacturing and logistics firms). If firm A pollutes the environment, it should use part of its profits to run some cleanup operations, in this way the good covers up for the bad.

However, this approach to improving the planet  (also known as the sustainability paradigm) has not taken us very far. And there are two reasons for this. First, the sustainability paradigm is more focused on calculating and balancing the negative impact of corporate actions rather than encouraging positive actions. Decarbonization and waste elimination are two actions that sustainability experts focus on even though they yield limited rewards. Second, the sustainability paradigm excludes a lot of people and economic sectors from working for the planet. Up to 75% of the working population are in service industries like banking, arts, entertainment etc. While their jobs or industries are not directly linked to environmental pollution or degradation, they have the immense potential to be changemakers in our society.

Regeneration First for Positive Impact

How does that famous Chinese proverb go again?  Little drops of action make a large ocean of impact.

Of course, that is a slight joke. But we do have the perfect complement to the sustainability paradigm that ensures that no one is left out anymore. This complementary ideology is regeneration. Unlike sustainability, regeneration is not looking to offset negative impact. Instead, regeneration lays more emphasis on the positive actions that we can all take and the impact these actions will have on the planet. In the regeneration era, no one is a culprit or a saint. We are all on equal footing to do the best we can in time to reverse the damage the planet has suffered.

Our ability to reduce negative impact is far less than our capacity to contribute to positive impact. According to the Regeneration First Manifesto, written by Handprint co-founders (Dr Simon Schillebeeckx & Dr Ryan Merrill ), regeneration is a commitment to a new level of thought and a higher set of priorities. We are going beyond just reducing carbon emissions to increasing the earth’s capacity to remove carbon from the atmosphere. This involves everyone regardless of size or station. Every company and individual can make meaningful contributions to nature.

 {Learn more about how you can work for the climate even without a job}

Making the Most Impact

The sure path to regeneration is making the most impact with as many people through the right actions. And there are diverse opportunities for every stakeholder to contribute:

  • Responsible citizens can lobby their governments to increase the size of natural reserves in respective countries
  • Individuals can volunteer and actively participate in the restoration of natural ecosystems through rewilding programmes.

Companies can also link their business performance to regenerative targets. For example;

  • A law firm can do pro-bono climate work for every billable hour
  • A concert organizer can plant a tree for every ticket sold
  • An e-commerce store that restores mangroves or corals for every online sale
  • A university can provide one hour of free education per enrolled student
  • A cloud service provider that provides digital literacy for every gigabyte of data stored…..

The list is actually endless. These are the kind of impactful actions that Handprint is helping companies to integrate into their work processes and business goals. The integration of these little actions (handprints) into every facet of a company’s business is how we gradually build the momentum for a greener and much more livable planet.

In conclusion, the fight for a better planet is everyone’s duty. No action is too small as long as it is the right action. To find out how your company can maximize its potential for the most impact, book an intro call with Handprint today.