The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are increasingly at the heart of businesses’ sustainability strategies. Today, businesses cannot focus solely on the bottom line but must create value at all levels, including for wider society, with more companies engaging with the global goals.
Environmental pressures, such as climate change, pollution and water scarcity, are sparking new levels of global concern, shifting consumers' values, preferences and behaviour. In response, businesses are starting to consider the idea of purpose beyond economic profit. As more companies design products with sustainability in mind, it will become vital to understand where the greatest needs and most significant investment opportunities lie.
“Doing more with less” is the mantra of circular businesses that aim to make the most of the available resources, either extending products’ use or giving them a second life. There is an explosion of new business models based on sharing, reusing, renting and repairing, along with new end of life solutions (ie recycling, composting and repurposing).
Climate change is back in the spotlight, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report calling for “urgent and unprecedented changes” to avoid catastrophic consequences. Businesses are joining global climate strikes for the first time, and investing in innovative climate positive products and technologies that help fight global warming.
Most products require water to be produced and/or used. As water becomes increasingly scarce in some parts of the world, consumers and businesses are facing the consequences of water shortages. Companies are launching products that make more efficient use of this resource, from waterless formulations to products that require less water to be rinsed off.
With air quality deteriorating in urban areas, companies are developing new products that either help consumers to improve indoor air quality or protect them from pollution.
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