2019: The year of sustainability

  • 3 months ago
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2019. Let’s do this.

As the issues associated with our environment, spearheaded by climate change and marine pollution, become increasingly apparent, along with consumers and leaders becoming more and more eco-conscious, we’re starting to see a positive shift in our approach to environmental sustainability.

And who is leading this charge? A growing group of responsible companies who’re shaking up traditions to help push through changes that never before seemed possible.

Sustainability pioneers

Just look at sustainability pioneers, Patagonia, whose mission is “using business to inspire solutions to the environmental crisis”. This isn’t just a catchy sentence to put on their website and bring up at their annual general meeting, Patagonia uses this to lead the charge with all their actions. The global outdoor brand is taking tangible steps to reduce its environmental impact.

 

How? It’s a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalitio, the founder co-founded 1% For The Planet of which they’re a leading member, it rejects fast fashion by offering a repair and re-use programme on its clothes, and last year the company even announced its to donate the $10 million it saved in recent tax cuts to environmental programs amongst many other things.

 

And it’s not just Patagonia that’s looking to save the world. There’s also the global war on single-use plastic, the fight against fast fashion and Tesla’s mission to “accelerate the advent of sustainable transport”. 

So amongst all the alarming climate change predictions, we be seeing light at the end of the tunnel, as big-thinking companies, SME’s and smaller start-ups are taking sustainability seriously.

 

This is seriously epic, but why now?

Supercharged sustainability

2018 was the year sustainability went supercharged, with many businesses taking action thanks to pressure from an increasingly sustainability-focussed audience. As images of plastic-pollution flooded our screens and as David Attenborough shamed the Nation, more and more people began taking this issue seriously.

So much so, that the 2018 Collins Dictionary word of the year was “single-use”. But it didn’t just stop there. 2018 was also dubbed the year of the “sustainable shopper” as eco-conscious consumers began challenging brands to consider their sustainability. For us, this is epic. Seeing consumers paving the way for future change has got us truly inspired!

So with 2018 making such fundamental waves in sustainability, let’s have 2019 dubbed as ‘the year we changed’. #Sustainability already has 2.5 million posts on Instagram and with campaigns to end fast fashion, ban single-use plastic and transform global food culture, we’re feeling optimistic.

There are also a host of massive summits this year, from the UN Climate Summit in September to the World Economic Forum where the biggest leaders in the world are driving relations and further realising that borders don’t matter when the earth in entirety is in threat. We even had the likes of Prince William interview David Attenborough to continually get the debate into the mainstream.

 

World Economic Forum in Switzerland with Prince William and Sir David Attenborough

 

So how can big-thinking businesses ensure they get their sustainability right?

Practical changes

Firstly, its about making practical changes which are totally achievable. Sustainability shouldn’t be a chore, it should be ingrained throughout your business until it becomes second nature. By setting achievable goals and a system of accountability, you’ll pave the way for other businesses to follow suit and in the short term gain competitive advantage.

Secondly, its about communicating a positive future. We all know what climate change will bring if we don’t change, but what if we do? Make sure you’ve highlighted an optimistic future to work towards and showcase why people should make these sustainable changes. Bombarding people with doom and gloom doesn’t work, let’s get people stoked about the future! 

So what are you waiting for, let’s make 2019 the year of actionable sustainability!

Written by
Enviral