Why Future-Fit and why the Future-Fit Benchmark?


Because it’s time to get serious – really serious – about changing the way we do business.

Every day brings another reason to act. Bush fires in Australia and the USA are just the latest example of the devastating impacts of climate change. These fires are having a devastating impact in turn on the environment, on individuals, families and communities, and on businesses. A fire-ravaged environment can’t support people and businesses. People and businesses move away. Jobs are lost; employees become hard to find. Communities fail. The environment reverts to scrub. Fire strikes again. And so it continues.

We all know we need to act – and we know that business must take a lead. Many businesses, including thl, are trying to do this and many are doing good work. But, we’re not hitting the mark.

So why do we think Future-Fit Benchmark will make the difference we’re looking for? Well, we researched Future-Fit carefully before we embarked on our Future-Fit Roadtrip, and here’s our take on it.

Why we like the Future-Fit Benchmark

1.  A guiding star. The Future-Fit Benchmark gives us a Māhutonga (a guiding star, our Southern Cross in te reo Māori). We have a clear direction to head in and metrics which define sustainability in concrete terms. We know what we need to do, how much we need to do, and how to measure our progress.
2.  Objective, comparable targets. The Future-Fit Benchmark sets objective targets. They’re not industry benchmarks or targets we set ourselves. They’re not about being ‘less bad’ than we were last year or creating bragging rights in our marketing. The Future-Fit goals are targets, based in science, that show us what we need to do to create zero harm. They let us compare our performance with other businesses to guide investment and learn from others, and they provide concrete steps to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
3.  Clear priorities. By making a clear distinction between break-even goals like eliminating waste and ‘positive pursuits’ like employee volunteering, the Future-Fit Benchmark has forced us to prioritise where we focus our efforts. While we all love giving back (‘positive pursuits’), there’s no point looking for new ways to do good while we continue to do harm. It can have unintended consequences too. So at thl we won't stop doing any of our positive pursuits, but we'll make the break-even goals our priority.
4.  Systems thinking. The Future-Fit Benchmark reinforces what we see around us – that the success of business, society and environmental eco-systems is inextricably linked. Many other tools focus too narrowly and ignore the system that connects everything together
5.  Science-based. The Future-Fit Benchmark is rigorous and based on 20+ years of science.
6.  Practical. The Future-Fit tools, including the cheat sheets, action guides and calculators are practical and easy to use for any business.
7.  Engaging. The response from our thl Board, team, shareholders and customers has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve shared Future-Fit with the New Zealand tourism industry association too, and they've been keen to promote it with their members.Why this response? We think it’s because the Future-Fit concepts, like the strong links between business, society and the environment, make sense to people. Plus there’s a clear end goal to head for (and everyone loves certainty in a world of ambiguity!) And, finally, most of us know – deep down – that what we’ve done to date just isn’t enough
8.  Open source. The Future-Fit Benchmark is open source (free of charge). This should help you get it over the line with your CFO (though it’s the benefits for your investors and customers they’ll be more excited about!) A free resource will encourage other organisations to come on board too – and that has to help create a Future-Fit Society.
So, have we convinced you to join us on our Future-Fit Roadtrip?