As the world continues to grapple with climate change, businesses and consumers alike are increasingly turning to sustainability as a way of mitigating their impact on the environment. From renewable energy sources to sustainable food production systems, more companies than ever before are embracing eco-friendly practices to ensure that our planet is able to sustain life well into the future. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top trends shaping our green future.
Sustainable Food System
The global population is projected to grow from 7.7 billion people in 2020 to 11.2 billion people by the year 2100 (United Nations, n.d.). To meet the needs of this growing population, a sustainable food system that produces food in a way that doesn’t deplete the environment or endanger public health must be embraced to ensure food security.
These systems incorporate regenerative agriculture, plant-based diets, and humane animal husbandry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring food security for all. Some benefits of sustainable food systems include reduced environmental impact, increased access to nutritious food, and improved animal welfare.
In particular, sustainable farming practices, such as crop rotation, no-till farming, and integrated pest management, help to reduce soil erosion, preserve biodiversity, increase food yields, and improve water quality. Companies such as Beyond Meat are leading the way in Sustainable Food Production with their plant-based meat substitutes.
In addition, plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular as people become more aware of the environmental impacts associated with animal agriculture. Eating plant-based foods can help reduce carbon footprint and water usage, as well as improve personal health. Plant-based diets can include anything from vegan to vegetarian or flexitarian — meaning that everyone can find a way of eating that works for them.
Unlike traditional linear economies, where resources are extracted and then disposed of after use, a circular economy focuses on reusing and recycling resources to reduce waste. Reusing and recycling resources helps to preserve the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and energy use. They include strategies such as repairing and refurbishing items, creating new products from existing materials, and composting. Products like IKEA furniture and KansoDesigns SWP pots embrace this model and provide customers with circular design solutions that reduce waste and preserve resources.
Through practices such as upcycling, product redesign, and extended producer responsibility (EPR), the Circular Economy is transforming how resources are used and managed. The benefits of this model include reduced waste, increased resource efficiency, and lower costs for businesses.
It has been estimated that transportation contributes to around one-quarter of global emissions (Ritchie, 2020). To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, sustainable transportation has become an increasingly popular way to reduce our carbon footprint. This includes using public transportation, carpooling, and walking or cycling as alternatives to driving, as well as investing in electric vehicles. These practices can drastically reduce emissions by reducing the number of cars on the road and shifting to cleaner sources of energy, such as electricity or biofuels.
Governments are also investing in infrastructure for sustainable transportation, such as bike lanes and electric vehicle charging stations. Companies like Tesla, Uber, and Lime are leading the way in this space, providing customers with green transportation solutions.
Energy cost has become one of the most pressing issues facing businesses and households. Renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower have grown increasingly popular due to their low carbon emissions and ability to provide energy on demand. Plus, renewable sources can help increase energy independence for individuals, businesses, and communities by providing an alternative source of power. Companies like Tesla are leading the way with their solar roof tiles and power wall batteries – making renewable sources more accessible than ever before.
A green building is an environment-saving structure that uses natural resources to their fullest potential for the entirety of its lifespan, such as water, land, energy, and materials (Wang et al., 2022). From energy-efficient windows to rainwater harvesting systems, green building practices are becoming increasingly commonplace in the construction industry. These practices reduce a building’s environmental footprint while also providing extra benefits such as improved air quality and lower energy costs.
Some companies have even taken the green building to the next level with their “green roofs” – living roofs covered in plants. They can help insulate buildings while also providing habitat for wildlife and providing the benefits of having plants.
Remote work is a growing trend that allows employees to work from home or other locations outside of the office. By reducing the need for long commutes, remote work can help reduce emissions and air pollution associated with transportation. It also offers increased flexibility, improved employee morale, and reduced overhead costs for businesses.
The rise in digital technologies has made remote work increasingly more possible, and companies such as Trello have embraced this trend to create a more sustainable way of working.
These are just some of the ways businesses can reduce their environmental footprint while also boosting their bottom line. By embracing sustainability initiatives, companies can not only help preserve the environment but also gain competitive advantages in the market. It’s a win-win for all.
Ritchie, H. (2020). Cars, planes, trains: where do CO2 emissions from transport come from? Out World in Data. https://ourworldindata.org/co2-emissions-from-transport
United Nations. (n.d.). World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100. https://www.un.org/en/desa/world-population-projected-reach-98-billion-2050-and-112-billion-2100
Wang, Y., Chen, D., Tian, P. (2022). Research on the impact path of the sustainable development of green buildings: Evidence from China. Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.3390/ su142013628
From Waste to Resource
Our efforts and commitment to waste reduction and sustainability begin with our production process.
Plastic and agriculture wastes are repurposed and utilized through innovative transformation into a biodegradable composite material.