Sunday, February 28, 2010

What is restorative company?

A restorative company "finds the shortest, simplest way between the earth, the hands and the mouth". Wendell Berry in his essay "Conservation is good work," decries the elaborate market systems that have effectively alienated us from our roots while wasting our earth: "The dilemma of private economic responsibility is that we have allowed our supplies to enlarge our economic boundaries so far that we cannot be responsible for our effects on the world. The only remedy for this that I can see is to draw in our economic boundaries, shorten our supply lines, so as to permit us literally to know where we are economically. The closer we live to the ground that we live from, the more we know about our economic life; the more able we will be to take responsibility for it. The way to bring discipline into one's personal or household economy is limit one's economic geography

To rebuild an economy to honor the natural communities on which the human society depends involves a patient reconstruction of the commercial ties and connections that bind and separate us. It is one thing for corporation to promote individual responsibility as a means to "save the earth", and quite another for an enterprise to conceive and design itself so that choices are enlarged. If changing from linear or cyclical processes is a key to re-creating business in an ecological manner, then an important component of that redesign will be feedback, accountability and responsibility. Local ownership, while not guarantee ring such a result,makes it much easier for producers and customers to know, understand, and respond to one another. Further, it also helps to maintain capital pools in the community of origin and strengthen local economics. 

Sustainable business take responsibility for the effects they have on the natural world. One of the outgrowths of Earth Day was the emphasis in the media on stories about what the consumer could do to "save the earth". Books were published, lists were drawn up, children were galvanised, as if subtle or radical changes in personal consumption and Individual activity in empowering, but it cannot of itself change the nature of modern corporate capitalism, however inadvertently or purposefully, to put itself in the best insignificant when compared to the demands placed upon the environment by corporation themselves. Consider this fact: If the items used in households in America were all recycled, this would reduce our solid waste by only 1 to 2 percent. 


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