True sustainability is a long term value that can be achieved by looking to nature as our "mentor, model and measure", as stated by Janine Benyus and the Biomimicry 3.8 group . Nature's techniques, strategies and principles that have been developed over 3.8 billion years of research and design are a beacon of hope and offer unlimited possibilities for innovation in our cities, businesses, products and services.
For too long we have measured value through economic means alone. Nature's principles are the ultimate benchmark of not only sustainable but positive and regenerative value creation. After all, who wants to strive for neutrality?!? Let's endeavor to make, build, grow, create, and design with LIFE in mind at all times.
In addition, aligning our goals with man-made definitions of "going green" are not necessarily as efficient nor innovative as nature's design genius, crafted after 3.8 billions years of R&D.
Although helpful in creating long term goals, companies limit themselves by setting sustainability standards based upon man-made benchmarks alone, such as the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). These criteria are important and vital to giving companies "green" ideas, setting long term and short term goals, and for helping organizations large and small to achieve steady wins, but they are not the ultimate benchmark to which our Sustainability and Social Responsibility initiatives could be calibrated.
In summation, business and other enterprises can look to the principles of nature's value creating / regenerative design:
• To navigate them through the process of developing and implementing a sustainability initiative
• For a very clear path to sustainability and positive value creation (the right barometer to be calibrated to)
• To create competitive business advantage and differentiation
• To inform all decision making
• As their core business strategy, values and underlying ethic
• To help their employees better understand sustainability and the new direction their employers are taking
• As a means of engaging employees in an initiative that all can contribute to
• To benchmark their already established sustainability, corporate social responsibility and climate initiatives
• To define short term targets and long term goals
• To provide clarity and coherence
• To create cohesion between departments and teams
• As a design model for innovative products, services and holistic systems
• For limitless design inspiration
• To discern what is truly green and what is "greenwash"
In order to achieve environmental excellence, and operate sustainably, businesses can learn from and apply nature's infinite reservoir of design knowledge to improve their systems, products and services.
Each company and individual can be an agent of change by combining nature's genius with human innovation to achieve SHEER GREENIUS!
Each individual has a degree of Greenius inside them, waiting to be revealed. All they need are the tools and direction to achieve true value creation for the collective benefit of ALL living things. Go GREENIUS!