In 2020, many companies are preparing for another round of action, and the new Sustainable Capacity 2020 trend report is a great source for companies wanting a bird's-eye view on the topic, to broaden their horizons towards sustainable business.
An ERP Group company annual report outlines 10 key sustainable business trends to shape the new year, offering insightful case studies, commentary from industry experts, and highlights from other global reports.
As the planet continues to warm, more and more companies are taking meaningful action. Heidelberg Cement, for example, has recently become the first company in the construction and construction industry committed to producing carbon-neutral cement by 2050. Some will go even further than that, with software giant Microsoft pledging to be carbon negative for 2030 without offsetting its emissions.
“The most pressing challenge is for industry to defend government regulation that will support the transition to a lower-carbon economic model,” including “an economy-wide carbon price,” says Charles Allison, an expert in Energy and Climate Change Services at ERM.
Experts predict faster rollout of electric vehicles, massive fossil fuel divestments, and improved emissions disclosures. A changing climate has already become a new normal and it will be important for companies to adapt accordingly. We will see the increase in extreme events and financial measures to cushion them, along with new collaborations from stakeholders to improve our adaptation strategies, stronger risk mitigation measures and a transition to sustainable finance.
While climate is likely to remain a key concern, many other topics will also witness elevated focus. Among them is the transition to sustainable business models and supply chains. Moving beyond carbon-based models, more companies will strive to become positive resources, driven by pioneers like Starbucks, which "aspires to give more than is needed from the planet."
Sustain Ability analysts also predict that 2020 will be a “crucial year for the plastic action” with the entry into force of multiple national plastic bans. Therefore, we are likely to see changes in the global recycling market, new alternatives to plastic packaging, and increased recycling of chemicals.
This year is also expected to be interesting in terms of technological developments aimed particularly at the United Nations sustainable development goals. For example, drones are expected to provide better health care delivery in remote and vulnerable communities.
Among other notable trends will be increased collaboration of consumers and producers to promote sustainable lifestyles, increased transparency driven by blockchain technology, and increased action to protect biodiversity. Overall, it looks like 2020 may bring some real sustainability transitions, with bold commitments effectively implemented in practice.