Our growth fetish is killing us
Why Good Growth
Growth through ever greater scale is killing our planet and killing us.
The reckless dash for scale to maximise investment returns is incompatible with a finite ecology - a legacy of an outdated industrial system that remains hardwired into business.
The pursuit of scale leads to supply chains being treated solely as costs to be squeezed for the benefit of a few dominant participants; their potential to create systemic value ignored. . . .
. . . even as ever greater distance is created between consumer and producer, communities are turned into worker camps, and havoc wreaked on the environment.
Meanwhile COVID-19 has highlighted how horrifyingly brittle our ultra-globalised, dehumanised and mechanised supply chains really are .
Businesses designed to service unbridled (and often pointless) consumption, create bewildering inequality, and societal fragmentation.
And they completely screw up the planet. Extracting natural resources in the name of consumption and shareholder return.
We urgently need to rewire business to restore the planet.
Hence the Good Growth Company.
What is Good Growth?
Continuing climate change means that ecosystems that are healthy today will not be tomorrow. Reversing degradation, and then restoring and regenerating our planetary ecosystems is a trick we all have to learn.
Designing business systems that have regenerative development hardwired into them is fundamental to success.
We follow clear principles - we do not pretend that it is possible to 'balance' economic, social and environmental outcomes all at the same time. Instead we put restoration of nature at the top of the agenda, human activity as agents of change next, and then connect all of that to a commercially prosperous business system. We put regenerative development - its costs, and its brand benefits - at the heart of the business system.
We start with agriculture because it is a sector that can directly restore nature, because it has suffered acutely from industrialisation and globalisation, and importantly because it is a prime example of where the consumer relationship has been severed from the source of origin.
Business Architecture - multiple complementary brands
The key feature in delivering ecosystem centric regeneration is multiple complementary brands - allowing us to work with all the core materials in an ecosystem. This creates value for the mix of animals and ecosystem activities that restore environmental health. The product mix is shaped by what the ecosystem needs, not simply what we fancy making.
Market-in, product centric businesses take what they need from a place and leave the rest - it is this extractive process that is accelerating imbalance and, in Mongolia especially, driving up herd numbers beyond the carrying capacity of the ecosystem.
We are developing and integrating brands that can create products out of the full range of materials in the ecosystem, brands that that are strengthened and ultimately defined by the sources of origin in the chain. In fibre we are integrating navygrey and Khunu into the Good Growth Company system, and in rice we are developing the Ibis rice brand. Alongside these we are incubating several new brands in other fibre and food categories.
Integrating regenerative impact in multiple locations
Integrating the chain from ecosystem to consumer is fundamental for us. We do not outsource anything that threatens the integrity of the chain, instead fully controlling every step to add regenerative value.
Our products are valuable because of where they come from and how they are made. Our brands have such impeccable source of origin credentials that they move the needle for "sustainability" into a much, much more effective space.
The value chain is resilient as it is integrated through partnerships and reciprocal relationships. This is not a lowest cost, transaction based chain. Because it is integrated from end to end we can deliver integrated impact by connecting the ecosystems and the place of making. In conjunction with the Scottish Government we intend to create a dedicated regenerative manufacturing cluster in Scotland working exclusively with source of origin ecosystems undergoing regenerative development.
This links and reinforces the regenerative impacts across multiple places, whilst greatly increasing the environmental and economic benefits directed back into the ecosystems.