What Are We Hopeful For In 2021?

  • 1 month ago
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With a new year ahead of us and despite being in the midst of lockdown #3 we’re doing our best to be positive.

With COP26 the shining light at the end of the year (keep your eyes peeled for a blog on this shortly), we feel that there is still much to be hopeful for from the year ahead. 

So, what exactly is fuelling our stoke? Firstly, in the wake of yet another Black Friday last year, the Boxing Day and New Year sales and the consumption this can fuel, we’re keeping everything crossed that we’ll see a rise in eco-conscious consumers. We already saw it last year, with consumers turning their back on the norms and voting with their purse for brands that prioritise people and the planet. Back in September we wrote about a ‘Second hand revolution’ and how consumers were coming round to the idea of buying second hand or even renting items of clothing.

We are seeing a shift in mindset and although the events of 2020 and the impact that has been seen on the economy may have accelerated people’s need to be more conscious with their cash, with the second hand market set to hit $64 billion in the next 5 years we think that this shift in behaviour is here to stay. 

Secondly, spoiler alert but if you haven’t seen ‘A Life on Our Planet’ stop reading now. We think there will be a big focus on rewilding and how we can protect and sustain biodiversity this year. Pre-2020, and even this film from Attenborough, rewilding may not have been on your radar. Rewilding is ‘the large-scale restoration of ecosystems to the point where nature can take care of itself.’ And we now know how important it is that areas are wild and left to thrive. In 2018, a report estimated that between 1970 and 2014 the total population of the world’s wild vertebrates fell by a shocking 60%

All is not lost though, there are ways in which we can turn the tide but we need to give mother nature the time and space to heal and restore. 

A third thing we are hopeful for is the introduction of a plastic deposit scheme. So, what exactly does this mean? With a deposit return scheme essentially you buy the contents of a bottle of drink and borrow the bottle, you pay a small amount on top of the cost of the contents for the bottle, which is then refundable when you return the bottle to be recycled or reused.

We all know how bad the plastic problem is, a truckload enters our big blue every single minute can you believe it?! And as much as there is some action being taken, just look at Tesco who recently removed 20 million items of plastic from it’s Christmas range, the introduction of a plastic deposit scheme could be a game changer. 

With 20 MP’s last year signing a motion calling for not only plastics but other materials such as glass bottles, aluminium cans, cartons, paper-based coffee cups and pouches to be included in the UK’s deposit return scheme we’re hopeful. With a deposit return scheme leading to more than 90% recycling rates in other European countries, such as Germany (who introduced their scheme in 2003) and the fact an ‘all-in’ system (operating for cans, plastics and glass beverage bottles placed on the market of all sizes) would generate £2bn over a 1-year period, it seems an obvious move. 

Our friends over at Surfers Against Sewage support the ‘all in’ system rather than the ‘on-the-go’ approach (which would target drinks of less than 750ml) as they’ve been able to see first-hand what is washing up on our beaches.

Coming in fourth, we think B Corps are about to go big. Last year we got time to assess what was important to us and to realise what mattered. What many realised was that businesses with purpose truly mattered to them, businesses that put people and planet at the heart of their business decisions.

This is where B Corps come in. Being B Corp certified means being held to account through an assessment created for continuous improvement and having to score 80 points or more across pillars: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. This 360 approach looks at how a business operates on all levels. And trust us, even though you may have a purpose driven business, it doesn’t mean you will breeze through the assessment.

 Certified B Corps, businesses that are a force for good, continued to really flourish in 2020 and we think that this year more business than ever will be looking at ways in which they can improve their practice and work towards this certification. This cert really is the gold standard.

Lastly, we’re keeping everything crossed in the hope to see carbon taxing coming in across the economy. In order to meet the target set out by the government for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2050, a roadmap to get there is needed. The Zero Carbon campaign is calling for UK Government to act on its commitment of net zero by 2050 via the introduction of meaningful carbon pricing.

 A Carbon Charge is a type of pollution tax, which requires payment for every tonne of greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere. The Zero Carbon campaign believes that there are four principles that carbon pricing strategies should adhere to for them to be successful, fairness, effectiveness, enabling a just transition and that they should form part of a wider approach to climate mitigation. Head to their site to read more.

By not letting the biggest polluters off the hook, revenue generated can be used to reinvest in the green economy, such as energy efficient home improvements and putting more into the development of low-carbon technologies for the future. This, along with encouraging firms to look for more environmentally friendly processes for their business are the obvious benefits. Such a tax may encourage tax evasion or prompt firms to move production to countries without a carbon tax so steps would have to be taken to avoid these actions. 

Just some of the things we are hoping to see movement on this year. Perhaps if not even in full force or being adapted completely, we have everything crossed that positive steps will be taken and that we can look back on 2021 at the end of the year as the year we took great action. So, what are you hopeful for this year?

 

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Enviral