Unlocking a Sustainable Future: 5 Benefits of Hiring a Regenerative Business Designer

Image credit: Zahara Chetty

The future of business

The future of business is here, and it’s more dynamic, challenging, and customer-driven than ever before. Businesses that want to thrive need to be ahead of the curve, but it’s not just about staying competitive anymore. It’s about realising that our planet is in danger, and we need to take immediate action. 

Amidst the buzz of innovation and agility, it’s easy to forget that the planet we rely on is in peril. Pretty soon we will run out of resources to exploit and markets to explore. We can no longer afford to conduct business as usual and pretend that the environmental and social consequences don’t exist. If businesses continue to operate in the same old ways, we’ll have nothing left to do business with, and our customers will suffer the consequences. 

It’s time for businesses to acknowledge that a healthy ecosystem is not just beneficial, but essential for their long-term success. This means breathing life into the ecosystem we operate in, instead of slowly destroying it and leaving it to others to clean up or fix. By embracing regenerative business design principles, businesses can contribute to a thriving ecosystem and create a positive impact on the world that ultimately leads to their own longevity. Businesses and startups that want to thrive and remain competitive need to think outside the box to find new ways to meet the needs of their customers, the environment and their stakeholders. 

How business designers can help 

A business designer is a creative professional who combines various thinking strategies and design methodologies to develop innovative business strategies, processes, and models. Working alongside cross-functional teams of experts, such as designers, strategists, and marketers, they help businesses discover imaginative and effective solutions that align with their objectives and values.

Now, a regenerative business designer is a type of business designer who takes it one step further. Regenerative design is a holistic approach to design that seeks to create systems that are resilient, adaptable, and sustainable. It aims to create businesses that not only do no harm to the environment and society but actively contribute to their restoration and regeneration.

Image credit: Zahara Chetty

How it works

A regenerative business designer is a professional who applies regenerative principles and practices to business design. They apply regenerative design principles to develop business strategies and models that prioritise sustainability and promote the well-being of the environment, communities, and individuals while still making it profitable. 

Regenerative business designers use a variety of tools and techniques to create businesses that are regenerative. They take into account the social, ecological, and economic impact of a business, and they work to create solutions that benefit all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and the environment.

Some key principles of regenerative business design :

  1. Designing for resilience and adaptability: Regenerative business designers focus on creating systems that are resilient and adaptable to change. This means designing businesses that can withstand shocks and disruptions and can adapt to changing market conditions.
  2. Creating circular systems: Regenerative business designers focus on creating circular systems that minimise waste and maximise resource efficiency. They work to create closed-loop systems that use renewable resources and reduce or eliminate waste.
  3. Prioritising social impact: Regenerative business designers prioritise social impact, including the well-being of employees and the community. They work to create businesses that provide fair wages, safe working conditions, and support the local economy.
  4. Restoring ecosystems: Regenerative business designers focus on restoring ecosystems and contributing to the regeneration of the environment. They work to create businesses that reduce their ecological footprint and actively contribute to the restoration of the environment.

An example of regenerative business design in the fashion industry could involve the decision to use sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, hemp, or recycled polyester, in the manufacturing of clothing and redesigning products, services and processes around that. By prioritising the use of sustainable fabrics, fashion brands can reduce the environmental impact of textile production, support ethical labor practices, and create a more circular economy. 

For example, a brand could focus on creating a closed-loop supply chain by designing products that are made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their life cycle. This approach not only benefits the environment but also creates a competitive advantage for the brand by appealing to consumers who prioritise sustainability in their purchasing decisions.

Image credit: Zahara Chetty

Accept the challenge

Embarking on the journey towards creating sustainable and regenerative business practices is no easy feat, but it’s a challenge worth taking on. The potential benefits and transformation that can be brought about by this approach are immeasurable. Personally, I find it most rewarding to work with new businesses and entrepreneurs, helping to establish a foundation of holistic values right from the start. However, even established companies can make the shift towards regenerative practices, given the sincere desire to realign their values and the right investment and support to drive change. Unfortunately, all too often, we encounter greenwashing and empty promises instead of real action towards meaningful change. This leads to a lot of frustration for those of us dedicated to creating a better future.  So, why should businesses and startups consider hiring a regenerative business designer? Here are 5 ways they could benefit.

5 Benefits of Hiring a Regenerative Business Designer

  1. Sustainability: By employing a regenerative business designer, a company can develop sustainable solutions that consider the impact of its operations on the environment and society. This can reduce the carbon footprint, minimise waste, and promote social and environmental sustainability.

  2. Innovation: A regenerative business designer can help businesses discover creative solutions that promote sustainability, think outside the box, and identify creative opportunities for growth.

  3. Brand value: Hiring a regenerative business designer can help a business build a brand that resonates with consumers who prioritise sustainability and social responsibility. This can help differentiate the business from its competitors and create a loyal customer base.

  4. Cross-functional collaboration: Regenerative business designers work with cross-functional teams of experts from various disciplines to create practical and sustainable solutions. This collaboration can result in innovative ideas that align with the goals and values of the company.

  5. Cost savings: Regenerative business designers can help businesses reduce costs through sustainable practices such as waste reduction, energy efficiency, and supply chain optimisation. This can lead to significant cost savings over time.

Hiring a regenerative business designer can revolutionise the way a business operates and bring it to the forefront of its industry. By using futures thinking, design thinking and regenerative design principles, a regenerative business designer can help businesses create innovative solutions that promote sustainability and contribute to the well-being of the planet and society. This approach can not only increase the chances of business success but also help build a better future for generations to come.

Unlocking a Sustainable Future: 5 Benefits of Hiring a Regenerative Business Designer

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