Understanding the NPP approach for net positive impact in your organization, industry and society.

NPP Corporate Toolkit

Net Positive Principles

Net Positive Corporate Toolkit

The NPP aims to help companies and systems transform through net positive, delivering business and sustainability benefits. To that end, we have developed a set of resources and tools to support companies in committing to and implementing net positive.


Net Positive Principles: What We’re Aiming For

The Net Positive Principles provide:

  • An accessible framework with four guiding principles for companies to define a net positive ambition and any associated strategy

  • Guidance on the shifts in mindsets, behaviors and outcomes within organizations that facilitate success on an organization’s net positive journey

  • A common language for raising ambition and inspiring collaboration among others in the net positive movement

  • A “north star” to guide companies and stakeholders in navigating the challenges of pursuing net positive aims


Net Positive Principles: How to Use Them

Desired Outcome
A net positive approach, aligned to the latest the latest thinking in the movement, that goes beyond a conventional sustainability strategy of reducing harm to deliver positive outcomes for society and the environment.
  1. Review current ambition against the net positive principles:

    • Material: Are you focusing on what matters most?

    • Systematic: Are you influencing change across entire systems?

    • Regenerative: Are you creating long-term, sustained and absolute impact?

    • Transparent: Are you sharing progress openly and honestly?

  2. Assess how current approach could evolve towards a net positive ambition:

    • What are the benefits to the business, value chain players and society of this evolved approach?

    • What are the changes in mindsets, behaviors and targeted outcomes that need to happen?

  3. Use the Net Positive Principles as a simple, aligned communication tool:

    • Gain buy-in internally to the concept and movement

    • Explain the concept externally with relevant stakeholders


Net Positive Principles: Define a Net Positive Ambition

Net positive strategies aim to put more back into society, the environment, and the global economy than they take out.


Focusing on what matters most
Net positive strategies focus on an organization’s greatest impacts on society and the environment as well as its largest areas of unique future potential. These are defined by internal and external stakeholders considering impacts along a company’s full value chain. All material issues must be addressed to achieve net positive – thus a positive impact in one material issue cannot compensate for the negative impact or ‘footprint’ in another material area.


Creating long-term, sustained and absolute impact
Net positive strategies revitalize the natural world, strengthen social communities, and improve individual well-being. They generate long- term beneficial impacts and do not cause irreversible losses. The positive impacts that are created in one material issue exceed existing negative impacts or ‘footprints’ without irreversible loss in other material areas. While net positive is a journey, and progress is recorded, absolute reductions or improvements matter most.


Influencing change across entire systems
Net positive strategies not only catalyse positive change across a company’s value chain—from raw material extraction through the use and disposal of its products and services—but they influence wider social, environmental, and economic systems. This recognizes that a single organization is unlikely to create and sustain positive social and environmental outcomes on its own. Given the dynamism of these systems, the scope and boundaries of a net positive strategy must be continually reassessed to acknowledge and manage relevant effects, and to ensure greatest impact.


Sharing progress openly and honestly
Net positive strategies require action, progress, and measurement that are clear, credible, and easily accessible in communications. Attribution of all material impacts – both positive and negative – must be measurable and demonstrable, and independently verified where possible. Net positive information should be presented within clearly defined sustainability context and reporting boundaries, and should be disaggregated to show effects on relevant issues, stakeholders, ecosystems, etc.
In applying the these principles, net positive strategies should consider the unique sustainability context related to specific issues, stakeholders, value chain partners, geographies, ecosystems,landscapes, and populations. Positive impacts in one area do not compensate for negative impacts or ‘footprint’ in another; rather all relevant effects should be acknowledged and managed in aspiring for net positive impact.

Net Positive Principles: Evolve the Approach

  Mindset shifts Behavior shifts Outcome shifts
Material Prioritize impact and potential
Net positive is a journey, starting with an organization’s most material issues. A company reaches the final milestone once all material issues generate positive benefits overall.
Include partners
At every opportunity, organizations adopt an inclusive approach to strategy development and execution and define material areas through consultation with stakeholders.
Integrate strategy
Focusing on areas of biggest impact and opportunity, a company inevitably must consider shifts to its core business or operating model.
Systemic Recognize interdependence
Organizations recognize their place within broader systems and that they cannot achieve net positive on their own.
Collaborate widely
Organizations enter into transformative partnerships with stakeholders in their value chain, community and wider system.
Create an enabling context
Organizations influence the system around them – including changing policy, business standards, consumer behaviors, community norms, etc. No lobbying contradicts net positive goals
Transparent Embrace open communication
Organizations are honest about the journey they are on. They continue to innovate and experiment, documenting the progress and the lessons learned.
Ensure true and balanced reporting
Reporting on progress is honest, consistent, authentic, transparent, balanced and independently verified where possible. Boundaries and scope are clearly defined across the value chain.
Demonstrate progress and absolute impact Progress and absolute impacts on material issues is clearly demonstrable if not measurable via open communication. This includes reporting on both negative and positive impacts.
Regenerative Encourage experimentation
Net positive strategies need to foster a culture of taking risks, incubating new ideas, and scaling niche solutions.
Ground evidence in science
Organizations use evidence-based methodologies to improve conditions in the natural world and society.
Create long-term, positive impact
No aspect of a NP approach mistreats individuals, degrades society, or harms the environment, however, efforts to drive long term positive outcomes are approached with the same rigor as efforts to minimize footprint. This requires environmentally restorative, socially inclusive and locally empowering approaches that can be sustained beyond the work of any one company.