Business

Is your company truly future-fit?

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark is being heralded as a valuable new tool that supports exponential innovation towards sustainability at truly systemic level.

In February 2016 The Body Shop launched its ground-breaking ‘Enrich Not Exploit’ commitment which sits at the heart of its goal to be the world’s most ethical and sustainable global business.  The Body Shop approach is based on an understanding of what it takes for the planet and society to truly flourish by understanding how natural and social systems work and aligning with them; rather than focusing on acknowledged problems and simply aiming to reduce the amount of harm.

The Body Shop’s International Director of CSR, Christopher Davis had been looking for a more holistic, solutions focused sustainability framework when he found the Future-Fit Business Benchmark which underpins ‘Enrich Not Exploit’.  The framework’s 21 Future-Fit Goals describe tangible outcomes that reflect a required state for break-even sustainability; with Key Fitness Indicators for each goal providing concrete and measurable indicators to chart progress.

Watch this 7 minute Vimeo presentation that explains the genesis and power of the Future-Fit Benchmark in a nutshell.

Based on over 25 years of scientific research to understand what systemic sustainability entails, the Future-Fit Benchmark is being heralded as a valuable approach that that helps eliminate confusion around the growing number of frameworks – like Net Positive, One Planet Living, Planetary Boundaries, and Science Based Targets – by embodying many of the same concepts and indicators into one comprehensive tool.  And it helps to paint a picture of what a flourishing future might look like in a more tangible, actionable and business specific way than the Sustainable Development Goals, which are such high-level societal goals.

There’s no doubt businesses will find some of the goals challenging, and perhaps even impossible to achieve without reconsidering significant structural changes or new business models. But that, as Geoff Kendall of the Future-Fit Foundation says, is part of starting the difficult conversations that will help businesses focus take a more informed approach to their sustainability programs.

The Proxima team is excited to see growing interest from clients in using the Future-Fit Benchmark Goals and KFIs to evaluate their sustainability strategies and performance.  Insights from that work are helping businesses reflect on how well current indicators provide a measure towards true sustainability as opposed to resource efficiency, and to identify gaps in current strategy.

Simon Harvey has been involved with Future-Fit since its inception as a spin off from initial work by The Natural Step’s global network to develop a ‘gold-standard’ sustainability benchmark. The test was, ‘how would you know a sustainable business if you bumped into one in the street?’  Since then, the Future-Fit Foundation has run with the project and is working on Release 2.0 which will include measures for “Positive Pursuits” – business activities that go beyond break-even sustainability and deliver true net value.

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark tools are free to download; and Bob Willard’s recently published Sustainability ROI Workbook provides a free downloadable business case evaluation tool which integrates the 21 Future-Fit Goals.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about how the Future-Fit Benchmark can help your business exponentially accelerate sustainability performance.

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