In 2018 the Swedish sportswear company Houdini launched the first ever corporate sustainability report based on the Planetary Boundaries and the Doughnut.

In the words of Houdini's CEO, Eva Karlsson, "During the transformative journey that Houdini has been on for the last two decades, I have found design to be our most powerful tool. And we do have the power to redesign everything that was designed before. There are clearly design flaws also in our economic system that need to be redesigned and Doughnut Economics is a blueprint for an economic system for the 21st century."

Watch the video exploring Houdini's vision and approach, and read the full assessment of the sustainability of their business against the Doughnut and planetary boundaries. 
    Carlota Sanz Ruiz

    Hi everyone!! so great to see you all around ; )!

    Just wanted to share a bit of where we are at DEAL with Business & Enterprise in response to Lauren's and Peters comments. As you can all imagine, this a a crucial area for DEAL because it's critically important to ensure that the Doughnut is applied with full integrity especially in the field of business, where it is most at risk of getting greenwashed / co-opted / watered down.

    To guard against this, the DEAL team is currently working on defining more clear what DEAL's approach is when it comes to using and innovating with the Doughnut in businesses. We are exploring the idea of creating a tool for engaging with companies which will embody the full standards and principles of Doughnut Economics and we are looking into the best way to do this and, when the time comes, we would like to invite members from DEAL's community and some chosen businesses to help shape this.

    We very much ask that you don't press ahead with developing a separate tool since this is probably the most important area for us to get right and that you are a bit patience with us, we aim to give some further updates on this in the following weeks /month. I do hope you understand and in the meantime I invite you to check the tool 'when business meets the doughnut' where we describe the core ideas around what it takes for an enterprise to do business in the Doughnut. I hope this can help you in the meantime bringing some of the ideas of Doughnut Economics into the business realm and we hope to follow up further soon.



    12 months ago
    Lauren Stabler

    I'm feeling so inspired! Thank you, Houdini.
    Now a question for @KateRaworth and the wider DEAL community:

    In Cambridge, we're toying with the idea of developing a digital tool for local businesses/organisations wishing to make the 'doughnut pledge', i.e. to move up the latter from 'Do nothing' or 'Do what pays now' to 'Do the doughnut' (see the 'Business meets the Doughnut v1.0' video:

    If we've got the capacity (together with the wider DEAL community?), we could start by investigating existing tools, e.g. the SDG Compass:

    Once the digital tool is built, we'd like to host events with local businesses to introduce it.

    @KateRaworth: Are there any resources you could share with us from your work with Patagonia, Sainsbury's Supermarket, etc. that might influence the design of our web application? 

    We originally had the idea to map criteria from existing certification schemes (e.g. cradle-to-cradle and ISO 2600) onto the Cambridge 'Digital Doughnut' (a digital interactive of our city portrait), so companies can more easily report to what extent their corporate strategies support or work against citizen-defined doughnut goals/targets. However, I worry that this will only help companies "do mission zero". To "Do the Doughnut", as Kate suggests, companies need to examine their business models in relation to Marjorie Kelly's five design principals.

    Is anyone at DEAL looking at how Kate's work with companies around these principals could be integrated with a company's 'boundary review' of its products and corporate strategies? Or best to handle design principals and boundary review separately? We'd like to utilise your methods/insights to design an organisation-facing application of the 'Digital Doughnut' that, ideally, would combine the two.

    Looking forward to whatever discussion this comment prompts! 

    12 months ago
    Peter Lefort

    Hi Lauren

    In Cornwall myself and others working across different sectors are looking at doing something similar. It would be great to make a connection and share ideas! In my work with Cornwall Council I am grappling with the tensions of supporting businesses to progress towards carbon neutrality, and adopting the doughnut model feels simultaneously a powerful but also potentially overwhelming step for many to take.


    12 months ago
    Allie Stauss

    This is so impressive and will hopefully serve as a useful blue print for other companies hoping to map their performance to the Doughnut's framework. Thank you for your leadership in this space, Houdini!

    about 1 year ago
    Rosa Sommer

    Such an inspiring case study. Always looking for more examples like this! Would be great to hear from others if you know of any more.

    about 1 year ago

Subscribe to the DEAL Newsletter