From Sustainability to Purpose: Refocus on the Planet
2020 WAS THE YEAR OF SOCIAL ISSUES
The pandemic pushed health and safety to the top of the agenda with two thirds of surveyed companies now defining sustainability as “supporting local communities” (Voice of the Industry: Sustainability survey, 2020). This is a 15- percentage-point increase compared to 2019.
Companies across all sectors had to step up and help countries to solve problems, providing essential products such as ventilators, face masks, and hand sanitisers, or free services such as video conferencing, mobile broadband or taxi drives.
PLANETARY HEALTH TOP OF MIND IN 2021
But 2020 was also a year of sustainability milestones, with emissions levels dropping dramatically and renewable energy beating fossil fuels. The year ahead (2021) offers an opportunity to build back a greener world, with the three biggest and most polluting economies – the US, China and the EU – rowing in the same direction, pledging to quit fossil fuels.
FIXING THE PLANET – “IT’S NOW OR NEVER”
With Coronavirus (COVID-19) showing how quick behavioural changes from both companies and consumers are possible, addressing environmental risks has become more urgent than ever.
While consumers lifestyle changes are required to protect the planet for future generations, if brands are to stay operational and profitable in the next 50-100 years, they need to stop taking things for granted. There are invaluable assets beyond their balance sheets that need to be prioritised and protected. It is not philanthropy, it is investing for the future.
SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION FOR A GREEN RECOVERY
With many countries and businesses calling for a green recovery from COVID-19, there are huge opportunities for sustainable innovation across all industries. It is a great framework to reconfigure businesses to sync with nature to allow planetary healing. Reconciling economic, social, and environmental health is the way forward for a resilient recovery.
INVESTMENTS FOR THE PLANET
The renewed interest in addressing the planetary crisis is expected to drive investments that enable the world to achieve a circular net-zero economy, unlocking opportunities for cutting-edge collaborations across all sectors.
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