From Net-zero to Regenerative: Is this progress or just buzzwords?

From Net-zero to Regenerative: Is this progress or just buzzwords?

In the resent years, corporate world talk has shifted from "net-zero" to "sustainability" and now "regeneration". Although these terms may seem interchangeable, they actually represent distinct concepts when it comes to corporate sustainability and environmental responsibility.

For years, net-zero has been used to describe the goal of balancing greenhouse gas emissions and removals. While it's a step in the right direction, instead of regenerating the environment, all efforts were concentrated on reducing emissions from production, transportation, and supply chain management.

Sustainability is a broader concept that encompasses environmental, social, and economic factors. By balancing these three areas, we can make sure development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability for future generations to meet theirs. Environmental responsibility goes beyond carbon emissions and considers resource depletion, waste reduction, and social effects.

Nowadays it seems that "sustainability" is becoming somewhat diluted as companies use it as a buzzword without taking any meaningful action.

Subsequently, we've seen a shift toward a term used to talk about restoring and rejuvenating natural systems - regeneration. Regeneration goes beyond simply mitigating environmental damage, it aims to restore and improve ecosystems, soil quality, water systems, and biodiversity. We're trying to make a positive impact on the environment, not just minimize negative ones.

Regenerative practices can include things like reforestation, regenerative agriculture, regenerative finance (ReFi) and restoration of wetlands and other ecosystems. That means that companies hold in their hands the power to improve soil quality, have cleaner air and water, and increase biodiversity, all with the help of regeneration.

The shift towards regeneration is a necessary one, as it highlights the need to move beyond simply "reducing harm" to "actively restoring and regenerating the environment". Regeneration recognizes the interconnectedness of the natural world and the urgent need for environmental repair.

The evolution of language in the corporate world means we're starting to understand environmental responsibility more. While each of these terms represents a step forward in sustainability, regeneration offers the most comprehensive and forward-thinking approach.

Sustainable future starts with us, and to achieve that, we need to start with our mindset.