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From holding tight to letting go

1, November 2022

From holding tight to letting go

In August ’22, we did something no company had done before: recognised the legal Rights of Nature by making it a director on our board — giving Nature a voice and a vote on how our business is run.

But while this is a huge milestone in the reimagining of the relationship between Nature and business, our end-goal has always been so much bigger.

We did this not only to change our company, but to show that change is possible in all companies. From the beginning, we always envisaged a model that could be easily replicated. A change that might sound radical, but is actually incredibly practical. And as down to Earth a solution as you might expect from a fifty year old soap company.

Something we’ve heard a lot since the news broke is ‘That’s so obvious, I can’t believe nobody’s done it before’.  Which is precisely the point. To some, it’s mind blowing. But it’s also mind blowingly simple.

Sure, getting to that model took a year of legal gymnastics from Lawyers for Nature and Earth Law Center. But as the months ticked by, the excitement at what was possible grew. Could we really do this? Was this even possible? We held our thinking close, needing to ensure we got it right. But what’s needed now is that we let go.

So we’ve put together this open source guide that details the exact legal changes we made. Take it. Interrogate it. Build upon it. Share it. Embrace it. Implement it.

It’s a seed, is what it is. A seed planted in the boardroom of one company in the world. But there are 5.5 million companies in the UK alone. The Rights of Nature can be cultivated in every boardroom, but to get there, it’s going to take a lot of green fingered businesses to nurture this change into being.