Drawdown is coming

Update 28 April 2017:  Well worth the investment, just for a cogent explanation of key issues and options.  Biggest surprise (so far): How high up the list Refrigerant Management sits.

I’ve loved Paul Hawken’s work ever since I read both Natural Capitalism and The Ecology of Commerce alongside Ray Anderson’s Mid Course Correction. (In sustainability units of a Graduate Diploma.)

I was a manufacturing systems consultant at the time, and these books put into context what I’d “known” about sustainability but done my best to ignore for 2 decades:

  • That the key leverage for a sustainable future is inside the business systems that design, build and deliver the products and services we use every day.
  • That the multiple levels of government that try to regulate business don’t have the power, the control or the skills to redesign business.

I’ve been writing on the subject ever since, following the development of ideas on remaking the way we make the products and services we use every day.   Drawdown’s by no means the only solution set (think Circular Economy, Blue Economy, Biomimicry just to name a few) – but it’s still a significant marker.

To me, we’re at the start of a new era.  Historians will look back and try and decide when specifically Regenerative Business got started, but this month seems to me to be a milestone.

The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming

For a lot of people this first Project Drawdown publication will answer the question “What  can I do?”

This set of social and technological solutions “that reduce and sequester carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere…. are all “no regrets” initiatives; they improve people’s lives, create jobs, restore the environment, enhance security, generate resilience, and advance human health. ”   It’s regenerative thinking in action at a whole new level.

Roll on 18th April

We lose another layer of excuses this month.   We lose the ability to blame “some government out there” because the action options will be with us.

I’m not sure what the historians will decide, or how quickly the “how” of the plan will shift as technology and passion get behind it.   But to me it’s a historic marker that’s up there beside Ray Anderson’s declaration that Interface would become “the world’s first restorative business”.

I also don’t know what other exciting technologies never made it into “Drawdown” because their inventors were too busy selling their cool new technology in the marketplace to put in an application.  How many were too focused on their “bottom of the pyramid” opportunities in Africa and India to do paperwork?

That will be something else we’ll find out in years to come because – while the HOW may change many times and “no plan survives first contact”  – the GOAL of doing well by regenerating ecosystems and restoring communities is simple and compelling.

So check it out – you can pre-order today through: http://www.drawdown.org/

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About Leigh

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Leigh is the principal of the business innovation practice Balance3 and her clients have included corporations such as Amcor, National Foods, Dair, SPC Ardmona, Kobelco, Corporate Express and New Balance as well as a range of smaller businesses and individual clients.