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Regenerative Supply

by Anne Pyburn Craig for Country Wisdom News

A 2009 survey of procurement directors cited by Helen van Hoeven of Lean and Green found that 90 percent of corporate procurement directors identified sustainability as “critical or important” to their businesses.

Yet sustainable sourcing, defined by van Hoeven as “a process of buying goods and services that takes into account the longterm impact on people, profits and the planet,” is an investment. It’s crucially important that companies undertaking the journey have access to expert help.

That’s where Terra Genesis International (TGI) comes in. The “planetary regeneration consultants”  maintain a branch office in High Falls, NY, along with offices in two other US states and in Ecuador, Thailand, Belgium, and Mexico. Their goal: to shift a billion dollars worth of purchasing power into the service of global regeneration.

According to the TGI website, Terra Genesis “specializes in growing Resource Supply Webs to meet the operational needs of your enterprise’s current supply chain. These supply webs are more productive, more resilient, and can grow to regenerate the ecological and human systems in which they live. The webs focus on direct producer-to-business, producer-to-producer and producer-to-customer relationships that are reciprocal and rooted firmly in the vibrant health of local agricultural ecosystems.”

“The question of ‘how do we make the things we need without doing too much harm’ is the wrong question,” says Ethan Roland Soloviev, the company’s chief financial officer and supply chain designer, who runs the company’s High Falls operation. “That’s coming from a paradigm of ‘do less harm.’ Our paradigm is regenerative; we help companies actually heal, restore, and regenerate the planet while they do what they do.”

It’s multi-faceted work. Soloviev’s activities take him from High Falls to Azerbaijan and Thailand and back, doing orchard design and teaching permaculture courses. A lifelong Hudson Valley native, he holds a bachelor’s in biochemistry from Haverford and an M.S. in eco-social design from Gaia University.

“I’ve been working in permaculture with my own local firm, Appleseed Permaculture, for ten years, and I was looking for a higher leverage point,” he says. “I found out I’m good at working with corporations, taking what I’ve learned from permaculture and applying it to business.” Soloviev is the co-author of Regenerative Enterprise: Optimizing for Multi-Capital Abundance, as well as the President of the Apios Institute for Regenerative Perennial Agriculture and founder of Regenerative Real Estate LLC.

The process of working with a company, he says, is never the same twice, but there are common elements. “There’s an underlying framework but each business will express it uniquely,” he says. “Essentially it’s about shifting from supply chains to supply webs, then establishing a truly regenerative business by taking it one step beyond, to the producer web. So the company, rather than just thinking of everyone supplying them, looks at everyone as producing value for each other. It’s about functional reciprocity.”

To fulfill their mission, he says, “we approach the situation from two primary angles. The first is that we work with companies, from multinationals to startups, who need to procure ingredients to make their product. We look at how they get them: from where? How are they grown? How are they transported?

“Once we understand their needs, we work with the company to take their supply process from degrading and extractive to regenerative and supportive.” LUSH cosmetics, a firm that maintains two all-organic “cosmetics kitchens” in Canada that supply products to 210 stores in the United States, is a Terra Genesis client.

“They purchase 500 different raw ingredients,” says Soloviev, “honey, blueberries, cacao, butter, jojoba oil, tomatoes, asparagus, mangoes…all kinds of things that go into their fresh handmade cosmetics. They asked us how to transform their whole supply chain so that it sources from regenerative permaculture farms.”

LUSH was founded with sustainability and planetary health as values in the first place, and for them, working with Terra Genesis was a way to kick things up a notch. What do you do when you already shun animal testing and make everything organically by hand? This, it turns out. “We’ve been working with them for two and a half years,” says Soloviev. “They have created a small investment fund within the company to invest in regenerative agriculture and permaculture all around the world, to further improve supply.”

Other Terra Genesis clients include Rak Tamachat Natural Living Education Center in Thailand, Etsy.org, CaCoCo, producers of a “superfood drinking chocolate,” and Cholaca, a Boulder, CO-based purveyor of pure liquid cacao whose products are used in hot and cold drinks by better coffee shops.

“We have team members all over the world, and one of our centers is in northwestern Ecuador in a cacao growing region,” says Soloviev. “Our Terra Genesis CEO Gregory Landua was able to bring Cholaca executives and board members down there to see the agricultural and forestry systems involved. They got to see and experience both the bad production methods and the permaculture way, and it has become a big part of their brand storytelling.

“Ultimately the deeper work is not just to change the supply chain, but to grow and evolve the companies so they can make decisions regeneratively going forward. Part of that is bringing people to the actual source of supply and inviting them to engage on the ground with the people, the community, and the agriculture. It’s not always easy for people to see and experience.”

“CaCoCo includes the most masterfully grown cacao on the planet, sourced directly from Ecuadorian farmers using beyond-organic practices,” says Cacoco’s website with pride. The product is kept unroasted and raw to preserve natural antioxidants and “uplifting bliss chemicals.”

“We like to take a developmental approach, constantly growing ourselves as humans and inviting everyone in the companies we work with to do that also,” says Soloviev. “Each company has its own unique essence, and its own unique contribution to make in changing systems to regenerative ones. There is no checklist that fits everybody. We are seeking to heal and regenerate whole living systems, and those never look the same from one place to another. What we do know is that a rote mechanical approach won’t work on any level; that’s not how the world works.”

The other prong of the Terra Genesis picture involves building sufficient permaculture supply-side resources. “We also work on supply, growing, and landscape,” says Soloviev. “We’ve helped many clients to design and develop permaculture landscapes and farms to grow regenerative materials. The aim, what we design for, is economic sustainability. We look for crops that are economically viable to integrate into agroforestry and permaculture systems.

“Walker’s Reserve, a client we have had for many years is regenerating a sand mine that’s now in the process of becoming a food forest in Barbados, and some of the folks who had been working in the mine have taken permaculture courses and are using what they’ve learned in restoring the local environment, aligning that effort with the larger agricultural movement on the island.”

Permaculture has become a global language, Soloviev says, and although it is not yet universally spoken, outposts exist everywhere. “The reception our team gets in Thailand is pretty much like it is here—mixed. Some don’t get it yet. Others get it instantly, because they’ve been doing it that way forever.”

Overall, he says, “There’s a shift happening—growth and evolution. We never work alone; we are always partnering and team building, working with local movements, governments, and universities. One important aspect of this is choosing the right perennial edible crops for the given ecosystem.”

Soloviev  is a board member at The Apios Institute,  a collaborative network of farmers, gardeners, and researchers focused on integrated perennial-crop polycultures such as tropical home gardens, food forests, and forest gardens. They are currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to upgrade their online wiki to include information and growing advice for over 1400 useful perennial crops for around the world.

In building a business, finding a permaculture supply chain is not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do. “The case for sustainability in sourcing is even stronger in times of economic recession than at other times,” writes van Hoeven. ”First, any reduction in the company’s demand for commodities, such as energy, transport, waste disposal, and packaging, will lead to direct contributions to the bottom line results. In addition, a focus on sustainable sourcing usually leads to transparency in the supply chain. Transparency will enable you to further optimize your supply chain and to secure it in the long run, both in terms of volume and quality. Procurement professionals should be championing sustainability at the board level to help their companies survive and thrive.”

The vision of Terra Genesis is one in which that surviving and thriving process includes not just particular companies, but the whole of the Earth herself. And they’re getting somewhere. “One other effect is that we’ve become experts in the type of farming that actually catches carbon and sucks it right out of the air,” says Soloviev happily. “So our farms become carbon sinks that actually make both the soil and the air better.”

Terra Genesis offers five levels of engagement ranging from helping entrepreneurs connect with investment and supply chain partners through transformational education, on up to something they call Multi-Capital Enterprise Ecosystem Regeneration.

This article was originally published by Country Wisdom News and has been reposted with permission from the publisher. Read the original post here.

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Education, Regenerative Supply

The final TGI founder’s story, this podcast interview of Ethan Soloviev was recorded back in February in the build up to the PV3 conference. Listen in as Ethan describes the ever-evolving process of regeneration, the development of enterprise ecosystems (as compared to single businesses operating in isolation), outward growth from an origin point, the function of nodal intervention points, and much more. Click here to listen to the full episode.

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Regenerative Supply

The PV3 spotlight continues to shine on TGI founders in this latest interview with Gregory Landua. Listen in as Gregory debunks the myth that you can simply design the entire pathway to regeneration. It’s an active, engaged, and evolving process, he says. Listen to the whole podcast here!

http://www.permaculturevoices.com/designing-the-pathway-to-regeneration-and-why-we-cant-do-that-the-founders-story-with-gregory-landau/

Gregory-Landua-Permaculture-Voices

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Regenerative Supply

LPC_2015_v5_Final LPC PetalsSustainable is a big hot buzzword right now. Everything from seafood to soda is “going green,” everyone from the Pope to the mailman is gushing about sustainability. What we’re not talking about is that sustaining our planet—especially in its current state—is not enough. Actively rebuilding and restoring our ecosystems needs to be an integral part of “business as usual.” The regenerative enterprise approach embodies this leveled-up commitment to people and planet. Like an immune system response to the planetary consequences of climate change, extractive business, and drastic inequality, companies, nonprofits, and small groups of individuals have begun to explore the ‘regenerative’ approach to positive change. In 2009, the International Living Future Institute was founded with the mission to “to lead the transformation to a world that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.” Earlier this year, the nonprofit issued a challenge “to all manufacturers, product designers, design professionals, retailers, and consumers” (basically everyone), inviting them work toward “reconciling the manufactured environment with the natural environment into a civilization that creates greater biodiversity, resilience and opportunities for life with each adaptation and innovation.”

The organization released the Living Products Challenge Standard, a document that outlines the path to a world where all the products used are designed and constructed to function as elegantly as anything found in the natural world. In conjunction with the release of this revolutionary document, ILFI held the inaugural LPC Conference in September 2015.

Ethan Roland of Terra Genesis International spoke at the conference about the regenerative enterprise consulting that TGI is doing with LUSH Cosmetics. He explained that TGI’s consulting work focuses on regenerating global systems of supply, transforming the way in which companies interact with the raw materials they use to create their products. Using almonds as an example, he explored how LUSH is allocating resources to transition their supply practices and ingredient pathway towards regeneration. TGI uses a ‘Regenerative Continuum’ framework to engage companies in assessing their systems of supply and designing interventions that enhance ecosystems and business effectiveness.

LPC_2015_v5_Final Almond Strategy Ethan also spoke about Sustainable Lush Fund, which invests in supply systems development through SEED Grants, Permaculture Farming, and Supplier Partnerships. LUSH gets a more resilient supply chain and direct connections with the communities from which they source their ingredients. The Living Product Challenge is raising the bar dramatically, catalyzing a paradigm shift from our current reality, where simply doing less harm is laudable, to a future where our actions and business dealings are actually restorative, giving more than we take. The Challenge defines the most advanced measure of sustainability for the creation of all products possible today, covering the following categories: Place (habitat), Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity, and finally Beauty, yes Beauty. The Challenge mandates individuals and businesses to act to rapidly diminish the gap between current limitations and the positive endgame solutions we seek. It aims to transform how we think about every single act of design and production as an opportunity to positively impact the greater community of life and the cultural fabric of our human communities. TGI recognizes the potential of the Living Products Challenge and is in full support of this revolutionary standard. We therefore intend to use it to evaluate the regeneration work we do.

LPC states in their standard: “Imagine if everything we used in our daily lives, regardless of how small, helped to create a better world.” We want to help make this a reality. If you are ready to transform your business into a regenerative enterprise, please reach out to us. We are eager to work with any company that wants to get Living Product Certified to help them move through all of the steps of certification. Click here to contact us and get started!

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Design, Regenerative Supply

Regenerative Business 101

A free workshop by Ethan Roland Soloviev of Terra Genesis International. Tuesday November 24, 4:00 – 5:30pm, Impact Hub Bazaar – 394 Broadway, Floor 5, New York, NY 10013Sustainable is not Enough. Regenerative Businesses add value to all players in their ecosystem on an ongoing basis, while growing their earnings and margins. How do they do it?

Regenerative Business 3 Qualities

Come learn the 3 core qualities of a Regenerative Business, plus 6 characteristics that differentiate Regenerative Businesses from “social” business and “business as usual.” The workshop will show you how to track your own enterprise’s development of the 6 characteristics, and identify opportunities to move further towards regeneration.

Regenerative Business 6 Characteristics

Results: Businesses that grow to embody the 3 qualities and 6 characteristics will experience significant benefits. Clients of the Carol Sanford Institute, leader in Regenerative Business Education, reports results of increased effectiveness and innovation, non-displaceability in their target market, and 30-65% revenue growth annually. RSVP by Twitter: @Terra_Genesis Regenerative Business 101 – Workshop by Ethan Roland Soloviev of Terra Genesis International. Tuesday November 24, 4:00 – 5:30pm, Impact Hub Bazaar – 394 Broadway, Floor 5, New York, NY 10013

Office Hours: Regenerative Business & Regenerative Supply Chains

Ethan Roland Soloviev Regenerative Business Ethan Roland Soloviev will also host open office hours at the Impact Bazaar from 2:00 – 4:00pm. Topics include:

  • How to make your business regenerative
  • Supply chain assessment: Is your supply chain good for the world?
  • Systems of supply: From extractive to regenerative
  • 8 Forms of capital consulting

Office hours are open on a first-come-first-served basis. Reserve a timeslot by Twitter: @Terra_Genesis Ethan Roland Soloviev is a Supply Chain Designer and CFO at Terra Genesis International. With experience in 31 countries, he develops regenerative supply and agriculture systems for start-ups, multi-nationals, and investors around the world. Ethan is the co-author of Regenerative Enterprise and an Associate of the Carol Sanford Institute.

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Education, Regenerative Supply

Pod capture 2

Gregory and Ethan recently joined Carol Sanford on her podcast to discuss designing for regeneration. Carol is a thought-leader, and teacher who has been driving system change in the business world for nearly 40 years. In this conversation she engages with Gregory and Ethan to learn more about the exciting work that Terra Genesis has been doing to develop regenerative global supply chains. Follow along here and at regenterprise.com to continue the regeneration. Want to know what regeneration looks like for your enterprise? Reach out to us.

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Global Seo, Regenerative Supply

International Permaculture Conference

London, UK – September 9, 2pm – “Regenerative Enterprise and the Eight Forms of Capital” – Ethan Roland Soloviev

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Living Products Expo

Pittsburgh, PA – September 16 – 18 – “Cosmetics: Towards Regenerative Supply” – Ethan Roland Soloviev

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SOCAP 15

San Francisco, CA – October 6-9

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Living the New Economy Global Live

Victoria, BC – November 11 – 15

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Young Farmers Conference

Pocantico Hills, NY – December 2 – 4

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Regenerative Supply
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The Living Product Expo (Sept. 16 – 18, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA) is a groundbreaking event that brings together leading minds in the product industry to ignite a revolution in the way materials are designed, manufactured and delivered. Sustainability directors from the world’s leading design firms, prominent manufacturers and sustainability consultants will gather to learn about game-changing innovations in product design.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE LIVING PRODUCT EXPO

Questions about the event? Contact us at events@living-future.org.

Speaking on Thursday, September 17, 3:00PM

Cosmetics: Towards Regenerative Supply

Ethan Roland Soloviev

Terra Genesis Consulting, CFO High Falls, NY

Ethan Roland is an international expert on sustainable agriculture, impact investing, and regenerative entrepreneurship. He is the co-author of Regenerative Enterprise: Optimizing for Multi-Capital Abundance and a core developer of the 8 Forms of Capital framework. Ethan is the CFO of Terra Genesis International, the founder of Regenerative Real Estate, the President of the Apios Institute, and holds an B.S. in Biochemistry from Haverford and an M.S. in Eco-Social Design from Gaia University. You can see Ethan’s presentations and find his book at www.8forms.org

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Regenerative Supply

For the last year, Terra Genesis International has been working with LUSH Cosmetics to collaboratively develop regenerative supply chains for their global portfolio of ingredients. The recently-launched SEED Grants Program is a small but important thread of the overall regenerative supply chain development strategy. The initial round of grants has closed, but will reopen again later in 2015. Contact Terra Genesis now tinyurl.com/LUSH-SEED-Grants for more information, or follow the links below. LUSH is pleased to announce the launch of our Sustainable Enterprise Ecology Development (SEED) Grants Program, a part of  the Sustainable LUSH (SLush) Fund. This document lays out the  goals, wanted applicants, and criteria for SEED Grants.

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SEED Grants aim to support the rapid development of a broad base of sustainably produced raw materials grown with permaculture ethics and principles.  Behind the scenes LUSH has been working diligently to analyze our internal and external processes and develop more strategic opportunities to shift our business in ways that support a healthy and robust global web of regenerative farm businesses, cooperatives and supporting enterprises. SEED Grant funds will help us increase the number of regenerative farms that  produce one or more of our raw materials. A list of these raw materials is included  at the end of this document but it is important to note that we invent new products seasonally so this list may be subject to change.

For more information please visit: tinyurl.com/LUSH-SEED-Grants

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