Degrowth is a vision of economy which encompasses living well within planetary boundaries, a sustainable co-existence between humanity and nature. It differs from other concepts of sustainability in that it argues in favour of the downscaling of production and consumption, a deviation from a growth, profit, and accumulation orientated narrative, economy and mentality. Degrowth is not, as it may seem, the opposite of quantitative growth, but rather a profound cultural, qualitative change. But what should business be like for a degrowth economy? Looking for an answer goes far beyond an academic exercise and requires cooperation, exploration, and co-creation of knowledge between researchers and businesses that may already be incorporating some elements of a business for a degrowth economy, or merely a degrowth business.
Degrowth business elements can be categorised into 5 groups:
Every firm is unique and has its own set of elements. In a modern growth-orientated setting hardly any firm would match an ideal type of a degrowth business that so far only exists on paper. The goal of this exercise, however, is not to see which firm is a perfect match to a theoretical model, or whether or not a firm is or is not a degrowth business, but rather to see what is possible beyond business-as-usual.