Being a Restorative Company: Healing Our World One Step at a Time

Being a Restorative Company: Healing Our World One Step at a Time

By Melissa Botelho

I’ve been really appreciating this word “restorative” lately, extending far beyond my love for restorative yoga and restoring old houses… It embodies the essence of one of my favourite mottos - "leave it better than you found it" - and evokes a sense of coming home to safety and wellbeing. 

The concept of being restorative has gained momentum in various aspects of life and business, as we recognize the need to repair our relationship with the natural environment and address social injustices. In this blog, we will explore different ways companies can embrace restorative practices across four key areas: the environment, social justice, the workplace, and the economy.

Restoration of the Environment: The Leading Movement

For far too long, businesses have exploited natural resources with little regard for the detrimental consequences on our planet. Thankfully, a positive shift is occurring, with companies taking significant steps towards environmental restoration. Many large organizations in Canada are now tying executive pay to ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) goals. Even if it’s a small improvement, this trend holds hope for long-term meaningful change in purchasing and operations.

Furthermore, a wave of startups and small businesses is emerging, grounded in eco-friendly models right from their inception. A great example from our vendor collective is ChopValue who are masters of upcycling and are redefining “waste” to “resource”. Beyond the branded phone stands, key chains, coasters, and cutting boards, which we love; ChopValue is outfitting full office and retail spaces with their upcycled chopstick materials.

Restoration of Social Justice: Empowering Voices and Inclusion

Social justice reckonings are taking place worldwide, highlighting the need for racial, gender, and ability inclusion. Many companies are striving to create safe and inclusive spaces for those who have suffered directly or through their ancestors from past social injustices. Right now, as a Canadian company, we are particularly focused on the Day of Truth and Reconciliation in September, addressing the tragic treatment of Indigenous people and the disturbing revelations about Canadian Residential schools.

At the Conscious Collective, we deeply respect and honor the ways of our Indigenous people’s culture and their stewardship of our land. Supporting the restoration of their ways and communities is integral to our mission. We love the work being done by NACCA to provide training for financial advisors who will assist in the growth of women-led indigenous businesses via their Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneur Program and by Okwaho Equal Source Consulting and their Kwe-Biz and Climate Hub Programs 

Restoration of the Workplace: Adapting to a Changed World

After the upheaval caused by the pandemic, businesses are reevaluating and reimagining their approach to teams and workplaces. Social reckonings and the effects of prolonged isolation have impacted employees' well-being, making it essential for business leaders to listen and cater to their workforce's needs.

Diversity is a crucial aspect of a restorative workplace. Studies consistently show that diverse teams are not only more ethically sound, but also more productive and advantageous for a company's bottom line

Take a look at how TD is helping “returners” re-start their careers in Tech.

Restoration of the Economy: Embracing Local and Ethical Practices

The post-pandemic economic landscape necessitates a restoration process. Extreme winners and losers emerged from the pandemic's fallout, leaving businesses uncertain and cautious about spending. However, a positive trend is emerging, with a focus on employee and client retention, and a desire to minimize exposure to inflated shipping costs and emissions by sourcing locally.

Supporting small local businesses not only benefits the economy but also empowers communities. These businesses often align with diverse values and backgrounds, making them valuable assets to integrate into meetings, events, and gift reward programs. By embracing these practices, businesses demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and community prosperity.

Restoration of Trust: Overcoming Cynicism and Greenwashing

Trust in institutions, whether government, churches, or business leaders, has significantly eroded in recent years. Events and access to vast amounts of information, misinformation, and opinions have led to widespread cynicism and societal division.

Woke Washing and greenwashing have become pervasive, as companies seek to capitalize on the advantages of terms like "conscious," "ethical," "green," "eco," and even "restorative." However, these practices undermine the genuine and credible work being done to restore our world. To address this, verifiable and transparent standards are crucial, such as B-Corp and Carbon Neutral certifications.

At our company, we are committed to legitimacy and transparency. We are working with a leading university to develop a credible vendor and product evaluation framework based on leading indices. We are actively pursuing our B-Corp and Carbon Neutral certifications and aim to support our small business vendors in doing the same.

Join Us on Our Restorative Journey

The need for restoration is undeniable, and we're eager to celebrate and share stories of companies leading by example. As we work towards becoming a truly restorative company, we invite you to follow our journey and join us in creating a more sustainable and inclusive world. Together, we can heal our planet, support social justice, foster a restorative workplace, and embrace ethical practices that benefit our economy and society as a whole.

We look forward to collaborating with experts and individuals who share our vision. If you have examples of companies making a difference in any of these areas, we'd love to hear from you. And we would like to help you acknowledge the upcoming National Day of Truth and Reconciliation with your team and community. Please join our Private Beta Program so we can work with you.

Thank you for joining us on this transformative journey!

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