Harnessing business sustainability trends for 2024 and beyond

Although sustainability should be more than a trend, the current way of approaching it is one of the best to gain media attention and customer awareness. The numbers also prove it ―according to Statista, countries like France, Italy, and the United Kingdom have the highest share of customers who gradually consider sustainability as an essential factor before purchasing a product.

However, like any other green trend on the internet, the concept of sustainability has changed, and some aspects and subjects have become more widely approached than others. For example, in 2023, we will see more regulations and requirements regarding sustainability reporting for companies, especially in the EU and Canada.

This year, we’re ready to tackle other trendsetters in regard to eco-friendly products and practices for the business sector, so here’s what to prepare for.

The eco-digital era is here

Sustainability would be nothing without the online ecosystem in which businesses can leverage tools and strategies to save money and address their mission. The eco-digital era is paved with interconnection, accessibility, and data-driven methods through which companies will develop innovative business models.

There are a few necessary steps for organisations to be part of this historical moment, such as:

  • Identifying ways to streamline processes more efficiently;
  • Integrating long-term sustainability with profit;
  • Approaching digital resources for diverse initiatives;
  • Forming partnerships with like-minded companies;

Of course, the eco-digital era won’t minimise the offline efforts of recycling, using renewable energies, and big bags. Even more, it will amplify the effects of the online environment.

Climate technologies on the rise

Climate Tech is an emerging approach to lowering the effects of climate change following business practices that might harm the environment. Companies leveraging it could reduce carbon emissions and increase resilience against climate change, and leaders can introduce it in sectors like the following:

  • Energy: renewable energy generation, battery storage, and distributed energy solutions;
  • Transportation: enhanced public transport, carbon-free fuel, and electric-powered aircraft;
  • Buildings: smart-building software, sensors, and low-carbon materials;
  • Agriculture: AgriTech, sustainable crop framing and livestock management;

Climate technologies rely on developing sciences that focus on improving the world, so artificial intelligence could play a massive role in this sector, especially since it became trendy in 2023.

Scope 3 emissions focus

According to the World Economic Forum, companies would considerably lower their focus on Scope 3 Emissions since they’re out of their control, but they’re still important to focus on sustainability. In 2024, we’re hoping that regulations and trends will help organisations better measure the factors that indirectly affect the value chain.

Relevant Scope 3 activities are given by a business’s risk, influence, and outsourcing, each with a specific category, such as upstream transportation, that should be a prominent element in accessing reliable data. Improving this measurement allows for more accurate data sources and specific calculation methods to offer valuable insight into what needs to be done to reach a decarbonised business sector.

Circular economy adoption

The circular economy model is one of the most discussed about recently, as it’s an essential part of the sustainability approach. The concept stands on three pillars:

  • No waste and pollution;
  • Make the best out of products and materials;
  • Nature regeneration;

The circular economy model goes against our current one, in which the process of using materials and buying them follows a linear trend. On the other hand, the circular economy trend would work in a way that can prioritise the technical and biological cycles of the products we use and buy in our daily lives. The benefits include less carbon emissions, diminished waste and pollution, and protection of our limited resources.

How can we distinguish sustainable measures from greenwashing?

Like any other business sector, sustainability also deals with greenwashing, the unlawful practice in which companies pretend to adopt green methods and manufacturing strategies to attract a large target audience that values sustainability. Many of these companies have been revealed in the past years to have adopted such methods, but many others are still hiding their “transparency.”

It is difficult to identify greenwashing in the world of deep fakes, especially since many social media users still lack digital knowledge regarding what’s genuine or not. Still, we can say that businesses that seem to try a little bit too much, whether they’re posting a lot of nature pictures or choosing more green colours for their brand than before, are indeed cooking something unusual. It’s best to analyse past posts and brand image guidelines to assess if a marketing strategy can be marked as misleading. Food and fast fashion companies are the most prone to determine such methods.

Why is it so crucial for businesses to be transparent?

What’s changed in the past decades about the online brand image of a company is its supporting audience that can also act as justiciary roles. People are boycotting many businesses that are not acting ethically, especially when it comes to respecting their employees’ rights. Therefore, the internet can be the catapult and the guillotine.

Whether they’re green or not, it’s best for companies to be genuine about it and avoid greenwashing because it permanently alters their brand image and reputation among the competition. Although it may be challenging to find out which companies are greenwashing, it’s never impossible, given the dedication of people who care about the environment. The trend of choosing less popular brands is slowly surging, so we should expect multiple brands to lead the market in the future instead of a few that are buying each other infinitely.

What do you think about this year of sustainability in business?

The sustainability trend is making waves this year, too, as companies that value their customers will prioritise new methods and strategies. Compared to 2023, this year will be more focused on regulation and acts, so we’ll see the beginning of the eco-digital era in which climate technologies can improve traditional supply chains. At the same time, the circular economy model might form a more concrete ideology in the business sector.

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  • About the Curator

    Abelino Silva. Seeker of the truth. Purveyor of facts. Mongrel to the deceitful. All that, and mostly a blogger who enjoys acknowledging others that publish great content. Say hello 🙂

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