Everything you need to know about regenerative businesses

Regenerative businesses don't just minimise harm; they actively create positive change for the environment and people.

Faith Sayo

Faith Sayo

24 Jan, 2024

Everything you need to know about regenerative businesses

Responsible businesses around the world are working to become sustainable and environmentally conscious. They are recognising the dependence of their operations on healthy ecosystems and are adopting practices that restore and protect natural habitats.

This new wave of innovators is pushing the sustainability boundaries and embracing a revolutionary approach termed ‘

regenerative business’.

What does it mean to be a regenerative company?

Being a

regenerative company

goes beyond reducing carbon footprints, using recycled materials, reduction of environmental impact and minimising harm. It involves actively contributing to the restoration and enhancement of ecosystems. 

In essence, regenerative companies actively work on improving the health of the entire ecosystem they operate within. They create a business model that actively regenerates natural resources, strengthens communities, and fosters lasting well-being for all stakeholders.

The principle of regenerative business

As this new movement gains momentum, it's critical to guard against the misuse of terminology and establish a clear consensus on what constitutes a regenerative business. Olly Bolton - CEO, Earthly

Regenerative businesses are proactive stewards of the planet, fostering a sustainable future for all, through:

  • Holistic thinking: Recognising the interconnectedness of environmental, social, and economic systems.

  • Net positive impact: Aiming to leave the planet and communities in an improved state.

  • Collaboration and partnership: Working with everyone – employees, suppliers, local communities – to co-create solutions.

  • Continuous learning and adaptation: Embracing innovation and staying agile to respond to evolving challenges and opportunities.

What are the benefits of regenerative business?

Regenerative business practices can lead to a more sustainable, resilient, and responsible approach that benefits the environment, society and the long-term success of the business itself.

Here are some potential benefits of adopting a regenerative business model:

1. Environmental stewardship

  • Resource conservation: Regenerative businesses focus on reducing resource consumption, minimising waste, and promoting circular economy principles, contributing to the conservation of natural resources.

  • Carbon footprint reduction: By adopting sustainable practices and renewable energy sources, regenerative businesses can help mitigate climate change and reduce their carbon footprint.

2. Social Impact

  • Community engagement: Regenerative businesses often prioritise community well-being, engaging with local communities and fostering positive relationships. This can lead to improved social capital and support.

  • Equitable practices: These businesses aim for fairness and inclusivity in their operations, promoting social equity and responsible labour practices.

3. Economic resilience

  • Long-term viability: Regenerative practices can enhance a company's long-term viability by considering the health of ecosystems and communities upon which the business relies. This can lead to greater resilience in the face of environmental and social challenges.

  • Innovation: Adopting regenerative principles can drive innovation, as businesses seek sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions, potentially opening up new markets and revenue streams.

4. Brand reputation and customer loyalty

  • Market differentiation: A commitment to regenerative business practices can set a company apart in the market, attracting environmentally and socially conscious consumers.

  • Customer loyalty: Consumers increasingly prefer businesses that align with their values. Regenerative practices can enhance brand reputation and customer loyalty.

5. Regulatory compliance and risk mitigation

  • Adaptation to regulations: As environmental and social regulations evolve, regenerative businesses may find it easier to adapt and comply with changing standards.

  • Risk mitigation: By proactively addressing environmental and social issues, regenerative businesses can reduce the risk of legal and reputational problems.

6. Employee engagement and productivity

  • Attracting talent: A commitment to sustainability and social responsibility can attract top talent who are increasingly seeking purposeful and meaningful work.

  • Employee well-being: Regenerative businesses often prioritise employee well-being, fostering a positive work culture that can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

7. Ecosystem health

  • Regenerative businesses may contribute to the conservation of biodiversity by adopting practices that protect ecosystems and wildlife habitats.

An example of a regenerative business

example of a regenerative business

A new green current is surging, and it's not just about sustainability – it's about regeneration. 


Klim Eco

, for example. This agritech platform is a champion of regenerative agriculture. 

They understand that healthy soil is the bedrock of a thriving planet. By promoting practices like compost tea, cover crops, and reduced tillage, they're not just mitigating emissions, they're sucking carbon out of the atmosphere. This decarbonisation of agriculture is a powerful weapon in the fight against climate change.

But Klim's impact doesn't stop at the field's edge. They also empower farmers by connecting them to markets and fostering a direct relationship where farmers become agents of change. 

Finally, their agritech platform offers documentation and financing options for regenerative measures, alongside access to knowledge and a vibrant community. 

Klim Eco is a powerful illustration of what's possible when businesses embrace regeneration. In their case it's happy farmers, healthy soil, and a greener planet.

What is the difference between restoration and regeneration

While the terms "restoration" and "regeneration" are often used interchangeably, they have some differences in their underlying environmental goals.

Restoration focuses on bringing something back to a previous state, typically one pre-dating human interference or natural disaster. It involves repairing damaged ecosystems, rebuilding lost infrastructure, or repopulating endangered species. 

On the other hand, regeneration goes beyond restoration. It aims to create a system that's even more healthy and resilient than the original. This is accomplished through transforming degraded land into thriving ecosystems with enhanced biodiversity, improved soil health, and sustainable resource management. 

Difference between restoration and regeneration

The difference between a sustainable and regenerative business

Sustainable businesses focus on minimising negative impacts on the environment and society while maintaining current levels of resource use. They embrace sustainable practices like reducing emissions, using renewable energy, recycling, ethical sourcing, and fair labour practices. The outcome is often maintaining the status quo or slowing down degradation.

Regenerative business, however, takes this a step further by actively improving the environment and society beyond their current state. They go beyond sustainability to leave a net positive impact by building a handprint that actively heals and regenerates.

It's important to note that the concepts are not mutually exclusive. Sustainability is often seen as a stepping stone to regeneration. Businesses can start by adopting sustainable practices and then progress towards more regenerative approaches as they learn and grow.

Difference between a sustainable and regenerative business

According to a

ReGenFriends study

, nearly 80% of US consumers want brands to go beyond sustainability and commit to regeneration. This highlights a shift in consumer preferences, with many finding the term "sustainable" too passive and lacking in ambition.

Regenerative businesses data

How to become a regenerative business and where to start?

To become a regenerative business, you need to start with small, purposeful steps. Here's a guide to help you get started on your regenerative business journey:

  • Evaluate and understand your impact: Begin by assessing your current environmental impact. Understand your carbon footprint, resource usage, and the broader ecological implications of your business operations. This foundational step sets the stage for targeted improvements.

  • Stakeholder buy-in: Becoming a regenerative business requires buy-in from everyone: C-suite, investors, employees, suppliers – all must be on board. Cultivate a shared vision through education and collaboration, recognising regeneration as a strategic shift that benefits all stakeholders, not just the environment.

  • Set clear sustainability goals: Define specific and measurable sustainability goals. It could be  reducing carbon emissions, adopting regenerative sourcing practices, or minimising waste. Setting clear objectives guides your journey toward becoming a regenerative business.

  • Embrace Regenerative Sourcing Practices: Prioritise regenerative sourcing of materials, supporting practices that enhance soil health, biodiversity, and overall ecosystem resilience.

  • Invest in innovation: Explore innovative technologies and practices that align with regenerative principles. This could include investing in renewable energy, exploring circular economy models, or adopting sustainable packaging solutions.

  • Collaborate and learn: Join industry networks, collaborate with organisations like Earthly, and participate in sustainability forums. Learning from others' experiences and sharing insights fosters a community committed to regenerative practices.

By taking these steps and leveraging the

Earthly platform

, businesses can embark on a transformative journey towards regenerative practices, actively contributing to the health of the planet for future generations.

At Earthly we're incredibly excited to be helping these regenerative business leaders of tomorrow embed nature protection and regeneration into their businesses through our world-leading project partners. Olly Bolton - CEO, Earthly