A-Z of Sustainability: Year Ahead
Sustainability changes for 2023 and upcoming trends you should focus on
There is a growing need to adopt a new set of Sustainable Development Goals that aim to “Transform the World”. Change comes with collective effort, mutual understanding and knowledge toward specific goals.
Despite the UN and other international organisations making crucial decisions, the result is far from expected. It made me wonder what it is that we are falling short on? Is it the lack of interest or lack of awareness?
That’s when I had a eureka moment, and it suddenly started to make all sense. Many people don’t know the complicated terms and references that are used when we talk about sustainability. The idea inspired me to create a new series called “The ABCs of Sustainability Development”. I hope that this series of blogs is well received and serves its purpose.
Business sustainability is becoming increasingly important and to reach that, government funding is helping firms make the shift to a green market revolution.
Increasingly, customers are placing a high importance on sustainability, and brands are responding by taking steps to both meet this demand and lessen their environmental effect. Brands are working to reduce their carbon footprint and the effects of the climate change challenge. It is anticipated that in 2023, sustainability trends would go beyond eco-friendliness. They also include actions to improve the working environment, emissions from the supply chain, worker wellbeing, and ethical reporting. For the year ahead, we round up factors that your business should be mindful of and develop from.
Greater emphasis on sustainability reporting
In 2022, the IPCC report, followed by Cop 26 brought in not-so-exciting news on our progress in keeping the environment healthy. And with all goals outlined and the pledges taken, it is predicted that more and more companies will be held accountable for their carbon emissions. There will be demand and a full rundown of where things stand and the measures organizations have been taking to tackle the wasteful practices within the business, primarily because there is an increasing consumer market looking for green companies to invest in.
While tracking all climate emissions as a business is a tough task to handle initially, sustainability reporting is one of the strongest ways to declare your practices. The new carbon accounting standard is helping to build on existing standards. The standard will be applicable across industries in order to clarify murky areas of scope 3 reporting, such as remote work emissions data, ushering in a new era of transparency. This framework aims to provide reliable scope 1, 2, and 3 data to all stakeholders, qualifying organisations for credit and lending.
Among the measures are the appointment of a chief sustainability officer and the publication of transparent reports on the company website for the general public. Governments will also begin outlining transparency measures in 2023 through various climate summits. Transparent reporting will assist businesses in staying ahead of the competition.
However, with the coming year, instead of waiting for new frameworks to come in, it is always good to track progress within the ISO14001 framework as an EMS.
With online sales soaring during the pandemic, carbon emissions experienced a rise due to a rise in delivery vehicles. As par of scope 3 emissions, The final stage of the shipping and delivery processes are also contributing to the rising carbon emission. Due to this reason, brands are switching to electric vehicles (EVs), drones, and cargo bikes to reduce their carbon footprint. “Future compatible” is the next trendy keyword.
Earlier, Ian Rountree, Founder and General Partner at Cantos Ventures told Forbes: “Trucks, planes, and boats will begin to electrify (or at least go hybrid). Improved batteries, more efficient electric motors, and hybrid technologies extend range enough to apply to more than passenger vehicles.”
Boosting Sustainable Projects with Artificial Intelligence
Utilizing data and cloud technology effectively is helpful in fostering a sustainable future. AI has demonstrated to be crucial for lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Precision agriculture, better weather forecasting, disaster preparedness and response, and many more areas are all aided by this technology. According to a PwC analysis, AI can contribute to a 4% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Data from scholars and public sector organisations are available through Google’s AI engine to improve climate resilience. Due to a lack of necessary data, businesses can now examine their footprint. Retailers and industries are now both realizing these advantages.
Slow, sustainable and alternative foods
to tackle our great climate challenge, we have to address the food system, as it accounts for 1/3 of total emissions. It is predicted that the acceleration of fermentation-based solutions to create new, clean, protein-rich foods has the power to transform waste into food, and we are just scratching the surface of this deep tech innovation. All attentive proteins, ferment-based wellness industries have been thriving since the pandemic and the trend only seems to go stronger.
Second with soil—as a critical carbon sequestration tool, it is imperative to support regionalized, regenerative solutions, with climate-first agtech, supply chain tech, and fintech solutions. A new age of eating and nutrition amps up different lines of business from innovation and tech, to R&D and alternate market.
Energy efficiency and renewable energy will get a spotlight
Energy supplies in Europe were affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to price increases, energy insecurity, and a major push toward renewable energy investment. It is probable that businesses of all sizes and in all industries will consider energy-saving strategies in the near future to save expenses and carbon emissions. Businesses will modify buildings to stop heating loss, install digital temperature control solutions, turn off lights and equipment when not in use, and replace outdated, less efficient equipment in order to save energy costs. Longer term, this will probably result in a rise in the use of novel fuels and forms of energy. Additionally, new policy incentives will keep surfacing to promote creativity, aid in the fight against climate change, and finance the transition to renewable energy.
As renewable energy sources become more economically viable, it is a good opportunity to speed up the transition to green energy and strengthen energy-saving initiatives that were put in place prior to the Ukraine War.