Four guiding principles to assess if a company is serving life

A simplified approach to Matereality

B. Lorraine Smith

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Partial view of a pencil sketch called “Cleaving Archer” (by me, 2021).

Companies say a lot about their sustainability goals and performance. And there are oodles of frameworks and methodologies to rate and rank their efforts. I appreciate all this activity, but I have come to see it as missing the one thing that matters most: clarifying if the company is working in service of life.

To address that gap, I created Matereality. This is about comparing what a company says it does with how it actually earns revenue. And then comparing that with what the world needs in order for us to be well within a healthy biosphere.

I have been prototyping the approach over the past year.

Because global companies are hugely complex, and because they are scrutinized and celebrated from many angles, it’s easy to compile all kinds of stuff. But the world does not need another rambling rant against Big Bad Business, nor does it need another award ceremony extolling corporate virtue. It needs industrial activity that makes us and our home healthy.

So as I undertake another round of Matereality assessments, I am gathering up the simple principles that steer me towards that industrial activity — “Industrial Healing” as I call it. I share the basic principles below in an…

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B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact. https://www.blorrainesmith.com/