Dispatches from the regenerative landscape, where pioneering entrepreneurs use their businesses as catalysts of change to go beyond sustainability and solve social and environmental problems

Product Code: 3204
ISBN: 9780807008515
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Pages: 248
Published Date: 03/21/2023
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Price: $31.95

Political upheaval and social turmoil have peeled back the glitzy layers of capitalism to reveal an uncomfortable truth: historically, businesses have sourced materials from remote corners of the globe and moved millions of people and tons of cargo around the clock—all in the name of profit. Yet many of today’s startups are rewriting the rules of business: how it’s done, by whom, and, most importantly, for what purpose. Journalist Esha Chhabra draws on her decades of reporting to explore not only the “feel good, do good” factors of these restorative enterprises but also the nuanced realities and promise of regenerative business operations.

Working to Restore examines revolutionary approaches in nine areas: agriculture, waste, supply chain, inclusivity for the collective good, women in the workforce, travel, health, energy, and finance. The companies profiled are solving global issues: promoting responsible production and consumption, creating equitable opportunities for all, encouraging climate action, and more. Chhabra highlights how their work moves beyond the greenwashed idea of “sustainability” into a new era of regeneration and restoration.

We meet and learn from people like

–Marius Smit, founder of Plastic Whale, the first company to build boats entirely out of plastic waste removed from our oceans and waterways

–Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion, cofounders of Veja, a shoe brand whose mission it is to make the most ecologically sensitive shoes possible

–Konrad Brits at Falcon Coffees, a trading company leading the way with a “collaborative supply chain” by investing in the local farmers who grow and harvest coffee beans

–“Chief Toaster” Rob Wilson and Tristram Stuart at Toast Ale, who partner with Wold Top Yorkshire Brewery to repurpose surplus bread and produce an award-winning IPA

–Scott Fry and Martha Butler of Loving Earth, a supply chain company that sources cacao from indigenous communities and brings their people and practices to the forefront

Working to Restore highlights our most innovative entrepreneurs yet, those who understand that we cannot expect to create radical change if we try to “sustain” a system that has long been broken. Instead, their efforts of restoration and regeneration should be used as a model for other forward-thinking enterprises. Inspiring and engaging, this book shows it is possible for a business to thrive while living its mission and how the rules can be rewritten to put both the planet and its global citizens at the center.


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Contents

INTRODUCTION
The Regenerative Era
CHAPTER ONE
Soil: The Most Fundamental Ingredient
CHAPTER TWO
Waste: Aiming for Circles, Not Straight Lines
CHAPTER THREE
Supply Chains: Valuing the Source
CHAPTER FOUR
Workforce: Building a People-First Company
CHAPTER FIVE
Women: Bringing Women to the Forefront
CHAPTER SIX
Travel: Thoughtful Tourism
CHAPTER SEVEN
Health: Health Care for People, Not Profit
CHAPTER EIGHT
Energy: Clean Energy for All
CHAPTER NINE
Finance: Investing in Humanity and Nature
EPILOGUE
Are We Getting Closer?

Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

"The regenerative mindset enables you to sidestep getting mired in past or present challenges and catapults you and your work into the realm of the possible, the hopeful, the optimal. That’s what we love about Esha Chhabra’s Working to Restore: this book is rooted in optimism. The concrete examples of success stories like the ones found throughout this book show us that it’s possible to reverse the course.” —Jay Coen Gilbert, cofounder of B Lab

“As an entrepreneur focused on building a sustainable business model that is achievable and also scalable, I have often turned to Esha Chhabra for her advice and mentorship. She has spent over a decade documenting innovative solutions that inspire and actually create some excitement for the future. She demonstrates how companies can help heal the planet while still prioritizing economic success. With Working to Restore, there is finally a place to see examples of how a company’s success and their environmental responsibility are not mutually exclusive. Working to Restore provides insight into many models on how various companies operate without compromising. This book should be required reading for everyone, as we will all need to think like entrepreneurs in order to solve the complex problems we face in the world.” —Shilpa Shah, cofounder of Cuyana

Working to Restore provides inspiring yet tangible examples from a wide range of sectors of how to bring business back into balance and how to value what matters most: ‘simplify, and spend time immersed in life, not stuff.’ In an age of fast-paced mass consumption and consumer waste, Chhabra’s wonderful and diverse stories of human-centered business models and the people who are engaging them around the globe remind us that we don’t need to sacrifice our quality of life or feel bad about not having more. We just need to value what we’ve got and ensure enough for all.” —Melissa Ho, vice president, World Wildlife Fund

“As usual, entrepreneurs are leading the way to transformative approaches to what ails the world. Now, global leaders and corporate executives need to get on board—and they can start by reading Working to Restore.” —Tom Post, former managing editor, Forbes Media

Working to Restore is both beautiful and necessary. The idea that we can do things differently and enrich each other rather than only ourselves is powerfully animating and the examples in the book genuinely surprising.” —Stephan Chambers, director, Marshall Institute, London School of Economics

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