We are creating a learning community of leaders to work collaboratively to co-development and implement new programs, policies and practices that work towards transforming the industrial landscape to benefit people and the planet.

Bright Future 

Businesses that embrace a regenerative economy can reduce their risk, improve their workforce and create a stronger supply chain. As the co-founders of Healthy Business, Healthy Planet noted, “regenerative business practices can be as profitable, if not more profitable, than current business practices.” In a regenerative economy, businesses can:

Increase revenues and lower costs

  • Charge a premium for solar panels that are more durable, more reliable and more efficient
  • Meet green procurement standards
  • Sell to regions that have stricter environmental restrictions
  • Build more customer loyalty
  • Lower disposal costs, thanks to less waste

 Reduce liabilities

  • Lower corporate exposure and risk due to fewer toxic chemicals
  • Improve health and safety for employees

Improve investor relations

  • Meet shareholder pressure to reduce liabilities and produce “green” products

Strengthen supply chains

  • Reduce dependence on scarce materials — a growing concern given the availability of certain elements 

Improve the workforce

  • Hire and retain skilled, loyal employees
  • Ensure that employees are well-prepared for the future

Take a leadership position

  • Establish the company as a green leader
  • Inspire other businesses and communities
Better management of water runoff saves money. For example, Ford saved $32 million by creating a green roof, which eliminated the need for a wastewater treatment plant

    Growing Green 

    Antonina Simeti Less environmental pollution

    • Factories with less groundwater and air pollution help provide cleaner skies and waterways
    • Using fewer materials results in fewer trucks going in and out of the factory, which means less risk, less traffic and less pollution (a lower carbon footprint)
    • Reducing the use of toxic chemicals lowers the need for toxic landfills

    Healthier children, adults and seniors

    • Lower incidents of cancer, asthma and other ailments caused by toxic chemicals and pollution

    Fewer people living in poverty

    • Poverty in any neighborhood affects the entire region; in a regenerative economy, workers have the education and skills to get higher-paying jobs
    • A trained workforce is prepared for future changes in the industry

    More people can afford solar

    • While higher-income households generally have easier access to solar energy, community solar initiatives can help low-income households (including renters) take advantage of solar power

    creating value

    “A regenerative economic model—the circular economy—is starting to help companies create more value while reducing their dependence on scarce resources.” 

    McKinsey and Company, Remaking the Industrial Economy

    Factory of the Future 

    People who work in the solar industry can see immediate benefits from the shift toward a regenerative economy, including: 

    Safer working conditions

    • Less exposure to toxic chemicals that can cause cancer and other diseases

    Jobs for women and other underrepresented workers

    • Workers who may normally be unemployed (or underemployed) have greater access to jobs; for example, Cascade Engineering offers a number of programs to support employees who have been on welfare or in prison

    Better-paying, more sustainable jobs

    • More access to education and training allows workers to earn more money
    • Proactive training helps ensure that workers are prepared for changes in the industry

    Greater empowerment

    • In a regenerative economy, workers can move from the frontline of impact to the frontline of change

    an inclusive workforce

    One of the guiding principles for UB’s Department of Material Design and Innovation is a commitment to the promotion of an inclusive workforce. By providing opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups, MDI is carrying on the legacy of Erich Bloch — the UB-trained former director of the National Science Foundation, who established the department’s Erich Bloch Endowed Chair.