Future-Fit Business Benchmark: A Strategic Tool to Improve Your Sustainability Performance

03 May 2024 / Matters Academy

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark, developed by the UK-based Future-Fit Foundation, aims to guide businesses towards a future where they are environmentally restorative, socially just, and economically inclusive.

The Urgency for Systems Thinking

Systems thinking helps us understand the interconnectedness of business actions with the planet and society. The unsustainability of current business practices reflects the need for a fundamental shift towards long-term viability. The challenges of climate change, resource scarcity, inequality, and diminishing trust in institutions necessitate a comprehensive systems-based approach to achieve a balance between social well-being and ecological limits.

Vision of a Future-Fit Society

The Future-Fit Foundation envisions a Future-Fit Society that ensures the flourishing of humans and other life on Earth indefinitely. This society embodies environmental restoration, social justice, and economic inclusivity. The Future-Fit Business Benchmark emerges as a strategic tool to help companies measure and improve their sustainability performance, going beyond incremental changes to identify end goals for genuine sustainability.
The seven core properties of a Future-Fit Society, plus an eighth enabling property, which identifies the socioeconomic drivers required to pursue the others.
Source: Future-Fit Business Benchmark

Principles and Goals of the Future-Fit Business Benchmark

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark is grounded in systems thinking and established scientific principles. It provides organisations with specific, actionable guidelines to ensure they do not contribute to societal and ecological harm. The benchmark comprises 23 Break-even goals that define the minimum standard companies must meet and 24 Positive Pursuit targets, encouraging companies to actively contribute to societal benefits.

Universality and Scalability

The strength of the Future-Fit Business Benchmark lies in its applicability to businesses of all sizes and sectors. It offers a common language for discussing and measuring sustainability, enabling companies to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. By setting break-even goals and positive pursuits aligned with these targets, organisations can implement the benchmark's guidance in their unique contexts.

Forward-Looking and Adaptive Approach

Recognising the evolving nature of global challenges, the Future-Fit Business Benchmark promotes adaptability, resilience, and long-term thinking. It encourages businesses to manage risks effectively, foster innovation, and identify new market opportunities. Additionally, it enhances stakeholder relationships by meeting the growing demand for transparency and accountability in sustainability practices.

Embracing a Systemic Shift

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark represents a paradigm shift in corporate sustainability thinking. It challenges businesses to redefine their role in society and their impact on the environment. While it does not provide a one-size-fits-all approach, the benchmark offers a flexible framework for setting meaningful, science-based goals that align with the planet's limitations and society's needs.

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark highlights the importance of adopting a systemic approach to sustainability. It guides businesses towards a future where they not only reduce negative impacts but actively contribute to societal and ecological well-being. 

By embracing tools like the Future-Fit Business Benchmark, companies can align their operations with the reality of our planet's limitations and society's needs, fostering a stable and sustainable foundation for long-term prosperity. Whether or not businesses choose to adopt this specific framework, the principles it embodies are likely to shape the future of corporate sustainability in an increasingly relevant and important manner.

Matters Academy

A digital learning platform for the public to register for free and learn about the different ESG and sustainability concepts and applications that impact our society today. Matters Academy is one of the leading learning platforms providing flexible, accessible, and affordable courses taught by experienced sustainability practitioners to help you embark your ESG journey. 

To learn more, visit http://www.matters.academy