Updated on 23rd January 2023
<aside> 🌏 As a global community of changemakers, we are committed to embodying regenerative ways of being and working to reduce our ecological footprint* whilst at the same time increasing our ecological handprint*. Our Regenerative Manifesto highlights our current ****principles and practices and is continually evolving and unfolding.
At the start of 2023, we updated our “Sustainability” Manifesto to become our “Regenerative” Manifesto and paint a more wholesome picture of our commitment to climate action. In an article published almost 10 years ago, Professor John R. Ehrenfeld, author of Flourishing: A Frank Conversation about Sustainability, observed how the world is more unsustainable now despite sustainability programs worldwide. Part of this is because organisations focus their efforts on “reducing unsustainability” which is not the same as “creating sustainability”. Ehrenfeld suggested that organisations must pick something other than growth to sustain because growth focuses on quantity but does not measure quality. His suggestion? Flourishing as a measure of the fullness of life because flourishing “comes when one can say that life's cares are being attended to — when every human being is successfully caring for themselves, other humans and the non-human world that is vital to our maintenance.”
To flourish in the future, we must adopt a regenerative mindset that brings new vitality to our organisation and contributes to the fulfilment of our mission and vision. To understand the shift from “sustainable” to “regenerative”, it is helpful to consider the difference between footprint and handprint. Daniel Goleman, author of Ecological Intelligence, argues that when talking about climate change, “we need to shift from the negative, from scaring people about this, to encouraging them to do something about it.” He continues, “the goal is to make your handprint bigger than your footprint, then you are a net-positive in the world” (Daniel Goleman at Climate One). So, what is an ecological footprint and what is an ecological handprint?
Being regenerative requires a mindset shift from a linear way of operating toward a more circular one that seeks to revitalise the larger systems we are part of, whilst at the same time adding new energy into our own organisation. As stated at the beginning, this journey is continually evolving and unfolding.
At the very core of our efforts to reduce our footprint are three concepts: avoid, reduce, offset.
In addition to reducing our footprint, we also have several principles and processes in place to increase our handprint.