André Hoffmann on strategic philanthropy for nature regeneration

20 January 2022

André Hoffmann, the vice-chairman of the Board of Roche Holding and chairman of the MAVA Foundation, speaks passionately about the interaction between business, philanthropy and the future of the planet in his contribution to a new Guide to Strategic Philanthropy from LGT Bank. In the guide, he puts strategic innovation as a key priority for biodiversity regeneration and highlights the Luc Hoffmann Institute as a positive source for new ideas and transformative change.

The Guide to Strategic Philanthropy, co-authored with Philanthropy Insight, was launched to support philanthropists on their journeys and features the voices of thirty leading peer philanthropists from around the world.

“Nature is our life support system, and humanity cannot last very long without it,” Mr Hoffmann says in this interview accompanying the guide. “We have overexploited natural capital and abused social systems – we now need to be cooperative and regenerative in our approach – net positive rather than net zero – because we have gone too far already.”

In the video below, which supplements the guide, he stresses that we need to understand root causes and complex systems, and balance natural, social and human issues better, rather than focusing on money at all costs. “We need to think of the impact we are having on the natural system, the social system, and the human system. We need to introduce an accounting system which will measure the impact on each one of these and, most importantly, their interaction and interdependence. Only with a coherent use of these three capitals will we be able to produce long-term value which we will then capture in the financial system.”

Mr Hoffmann adds that innovative new business models are needed that address people’s broken relationship with nature and that this innovation requires courageous individuals to act in a way that contributes towards prosperity as a whole. He points to the Luc Hoffmann Institute as a source of innovation and new approaches to maintaining biodiversity, the foundation for all human development, security and continued life on Earth. 

“As a catalyst for innovation and transformative change, the institute convenes scientists, practitioners, policymakers and the broader public to explore the social and human aspects of nature conservation,” he says in the guide. “This includes incubating innovative sources of financing for nature and people to thrive together. This is important because the amount of money that philanthropy currently commits to the environment is not enough to solve this huge, systemic issue. That’s why we need innovative business models for nature regeneration, which philanthropy can give wings to.”

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