In recent years, sustainability has gained traction worldwide as population growth and climate change continue to create challenges for the environment. Consumers, investors, and companies are increasingly looking to ‘green’ their lifestyles and promote sustainable operations and products. In this article, we’ll look at the most recent trends relating to sustainability worldwide.
11 Top Trends Relating to Sustainability Worldwide
1. Electric and Hybrid Cars Are Getting More Affordable
With the global threats of a covid-19 pandemic in the past couple of years, supply chain problems, and chip shortages, the sales of electric cars still managed to hit an all-time high. Looking back in 2021, only 120,000 electric cars were being sold. Today, 120,000 are being sold every single week.
The EV market is increasing fast, electric cars sales accounted for 9% of the worldwide automobile market, four times their market share in 2019. In 2021, a massive portion of the net growth of global automobile sales came from electric cars.
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2. Clean Energy is Becoming Mainstream
The case in favor of clean energy is strengthening. Not only are these energy sources less expensive, but it was widely acknowledged during Climate Week that weaning ourselves off fossil fuels and onto local, affordable, clean, renewable energy is not only a priority for safeguarding our future but also an urgent necessity for promoting global peace and security.
3. Hybrid Workplaces Are Here To Stay
Gallup’s Director of Research and Strategy, Workplace Management, Wigert, and Workplace Research Manager, Agrawal, say that “about 56% of full-time workers in the U.S., or more than 70 million people, say they can do their job from home.” This shows a 55% increase in remote capable workers by the end of 2022.
According to the Remote Work & Compensation Pulse Survey, just 8% of remote workers are willing to return to work full-time after the pandemic. While 48% of employees want to work from home full-time, the remaining 44% prefer to work from home part-time.
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4. Wildlife Populations Crash by 69% In a Single Lifetime
According to the WWF’s Living Planet Report (LPR) 2022, monitored wildlife populations*, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish, have fallen by an average of 69% since 1970.
With its largest dataset to date, the Living Planet Index (LPI) published in the study by ZSL (Zoological Society of London) demonstrates that monitored vertebrate animal populations are plunging at a particularly astonishing pace in tropical areas.
5. Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
Autonomous systems, robotics, IIoT, 3D printing, and Augmented and virtual reality are all part of the potential 1.5 trillion being poured into the global manufacturing economy.
When it comes to the digitalization of the manufacturing sector, businesses must deal with sweeping changes in their operations, requiring more capital and effort. According to PWC’s Digital Factories research, “90% of industrial industry executives feel digitization provides more possibilities than hazards,” and “98% say the primary reason for digitalization is efficiency and improvements.”
6. The Sustainability Job Market Is Booming
According to LinkedIn’s latest Worldwide Green Skills Report 2022, the proportion of green talent — employees with the knowledge or skills required to promote environmental sustainability in the global workforce increased from 9.6% in 2015 to 13.3% so far in 2022, a 38.5% increase.
7. Overconsumption Is Killing the Planet
Modern living and overconsumption patterns are putting a strain on the natural resources of the globe. Besides climate change, biodiversity loss is another important problem we must solve.
According to the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020, changes in land use, over-harvesting, habitat fragmentation, invasive species, and pollution have caused 68% of the world’s wildlife to die out since 1970. 75% of our land has been changed in a big way, 66% of our oceans have been hurt, and 85% of our wetlands have been lost.
8. Investing in ESG broadens
While some investing trends come and go, the trends driving the demand for more sustainable company practices are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Investing in these upcoming trends is a way to prepare your portfolio for forthcoming changes in the global economy. Long-term concerns include transitioning from relying on fossil fuels to renewable energy. In addition, there is a rise in using artificial intelligence and new technologies to help care for an elderly population and preserving the environment.
9. Moving to a Circular Economy
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the globe has adopted a linear economic structure of taking, manufacturing and throwing away. Struggling with natural resource depletion and looming climate disasters, many people see the circular economy as the way of the future. The circular economy is a structure in which natural resources are used for as long as possible to maximize consumption and in which old items are converted at the end of their lifespan.
10. Embracing All-Electric Infrastructure Implementation
More effort is being made by governments and companies to prepare for a world without fossil fuels as the number of renewable energy sources continues to rise. This includes building infrastructure to sustainably store energy generated from renewable sources, educating consumers about the benefits of renewable energy, and getting people into alternatively powered vehicles.
11. Improving Sustainability Skills to the Next Level
This year is shaping up to be another year of shifting environmental priorities. The continued growth and development of the sustainability profession have been more critical. Sustainability professionals are responsible for ensuring that society’s demands are met and that the goals set forth by governments and others are met at an affordable cost.
We need to be able to evaluate and prioritize problems to help reduce them effectively. We must devise plans to address climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and resource depletion before irreversible impacts occur. People who can manage these processes and improve efficiency are more likely to keep costs under control. Environmental issues vary from region to region, meaning that we must be able to adapt to changing conditions and address local concerns as they arise.
With population growth and the increase of aging demographics in all countries, it is becoming progressively challenging to ensure the world’s sustainability for the long term. Since the next generation will have to deal with the consequences of today’s actions, more people are becoming aware of the need to make smarter and more strategic decisions in using resources, using renewable energy sources more conscientiously, and being more environmentally sound.