Dan Yates, Partnerships Manager at Protect Our Winters, believes that “a connection to the outdoors can ground us in the importance of conserving the wild parts of our planet at a time when we are outstripping our natural resources.” And he’s not alone.
Here, experts from the field and Blue Earth Summit speakers, including Javi Gras, Bianca Pitt, and Chloé Dyson, share insights on how this connection can increase resilience, adaptability, and well-being, as well as guide and inspire our work.
Nature has developed highly efficient and resilient systems that maximise resource use and minimise waste. Take soil, for example, which regenerates when microorganisms break down organic matter and release nutrients to improve its structure and fertility.
By applying circular principles and closed-loop systems to products and processes, like recycling, reusing, and repairing garments, businesses can contribute to a regenerative economy by keeping resources in use for as long as possible.
One example of a brand that draws inspiration from the outdoors is Finisterre, known for its consciously built outerwear and deep commitment to ethical and sustainable production. The brand recently converted its entire wetsuit range to Yulex Pure®, a natural and renewable source of rubber that produces 80% less carbon dioxide and uses ten times less water in production than traditional neoprene.
Spending just two hours per week in nature can positively affect our physical, mental, and emotional well-being, which can help us to be more resilient and adaptable in the face of challenges. It’s why companies like WeTransfer adopted Summer Fridays – a four-day week initiative granting every Friday as a day off during the summer months, which resulted in 97% of survey respondents feeling equally or more productive.
“People are happier when they spend time in nature; all research shows that,” says Bianca Pitt, Co-founder of SHE Changes Climate. “A deep restorative healing process occurs when we venture outdoors.”
Javi Gras, Relationships and Impact Lead at Bio-Leadership Project, adds: “There is no better therapy than the awareness the outdoors gives us, shaping our way of being, thinking, and doing. Nature allows us to cultivate personal qualities like resilience, adaptability, care, or love, which can greatly influence how we live and work.”
Spending time outdoors improves cognitive function in several ways, such as reducing stress and mental fatigue, improving focus, and ignoring distractions – helping us to be better decision-makers and more effective leaders.
“The basis of decision-making changes when people make space to spend more time outside and are even prescribed time in nature as part of their day-to-day work,” explains Chloé Dyson, TCO Lab and Sustainability Director at TCO London.
“We cultivate new relationships and observations between us, start seeing the interconnections and interdependencies that exist everywhere, and have a renewed perspective to guide and inspire our work.”
Nature can also improve creativity and problem-solving by up to 50%, translating to more innovative and effective business solutions.
“All the senses are sharpened when we are outside, particularly on an adventure – our sense of smell, hearing, and touch, etc., we engage more holistically and with our full potential. This makes us better employees, leaders, colleagues, and friends, as we can act in the fullness of our being,” says Bianca.
“Feeling that we are part of the greater environment around us creates a sense of meaning and relevance for us, which can be missing if confined to an office or workplace.”
More than 70% of consumers consider sustainability in purchasing decisions and 70% of employees indicate they’d be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to environmental responsibility.
“Human beings love to see themselves as part of a larger community. This community consists of people and all of nature around us – to meaningfully engage with nature and see ourselves as part of something bigger than ourselves,” Bianca says.
“I have never seen or experienced greater beauty than in nature. Its pure majesty is awe-inspiring, elevating, exciting and humbling. Nature is our teacher and our mother. It will help us learn, listen, and grow. This, in turn, will make our contributions more valuable.”
Blue Earth is the only business summit inspired by the outdoors. We recognise nature connection is becoming increasingly crucial for individuals and businesses, grounding us in the importance of protecting people and the planet and inspiring us to create a more sustainable and regenerative future.
Tickets are on sale now. Click here to get 2-4-1 on early bird offer (available until April 28th) and be part of the movement for a better future.