Impressive sustainability trends we saw during this year 2020
December 4, 2020
This year began on a wave of activism, financial innovation, and government policies aimed at environmental care. A growing number of companies and consumers know that big environmental problems, like climate change, are more serious than ever; because of that these companies and consumers created huge opportunities for environmental innovation, investment, and market share.
Last year´s sustainability trends are still pertinent, such as the reduction of plastic pollution, increased use of sustainable building materials, and continued social action. This year the world had to deal not only with the threat of climate change but the coronavirus pandemic and political instability in many countries. Sustainability trends are being influenced by these events.
Here are the 5 most impressive sustainability trends we saw this year.
Reduction of energy consumption
Reduction of energy consumption is one of the major sustainability trends among many businesses. Electric vehicles are being used in freight transportation, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications are in demand for many buildings, and LED lighting is becoming very popular. Legislation in some cities of the USA are implementing requirements for commercial buildings above a certain size to upgrade from traditional lighting to LED bulbs, which are equal in price but much more efficient and green.
Demand for plant-based foods increase due to environmental benefits
Another popular sustainability trend is the plant-based diet. Veggie meat, tofu, and tempeh are now popular supermarket items. This is due to consumer concern with the meat industry, not only the animal cruelty side, but the environmental impact. Like the renewables industry, the vegan lifestyle is becoming much more affordable.
The decrease of fast fashion
Today, fast fashion is seen as one of the largest polluters in the world. Fast fashion brands create cheap, machine-made clothing with a short shelf life, both in terms of durability and style. Most of the clothes are not recycled and end up in landfills. Consumers are more aware than ever of their environmental footprint and are making the switch from fast fashion to custom made clothing and sustainable brands.
Carbon negative gains popularity
The push towards zero emissions is one of the year’s major sustainability trends. This year, companies like Microsoft are now committing to removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit by the year 2030. Not only will companies that commit to carbon zero likely see an increase in investors, they will set a new standard for future companies.
We are proud to tell you that Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba, one of our member resorts, became the Caribbean’s first, and still the only, hotel to achieve carbon-neutral certification. And to go one step further, Bucuti & Tara’s team has strengthened its sustainability pledge by venturing beyond carbon neutral to the goal of carbon negative. According to the UN Climate Change, this is a success story of a small company that has achieved environmental preservation that is highly scalable for even large businesses.
Water conservation gains popularity
The World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risk Report identified water crises as one of the top 5 greatest risks to society over the next decade. The UN predicts that by 2030, the world will see a shortfall in the global water supply as high as 40%. Companies are gathering information about their water footprint by aligning water definitions across their business, becoming more educated on how water is used in operations and production.
During 2020 investors, companies and consumers became more interested and aware of sustainability. The sustainability trends listed above can be expected to impact not only this year but the decade ahead. Companies that embrace these trends will become the most profitable and relevant in the world.