A Look at Innovative Sustainability Trends for 2020

Green lightbulb.

Are you looking to shape sustainability trends in 2020? There’s a climate fight going on, and consumers and citizens are getting their say.

Organizations and policymakers are altering how they do business to introduce new rules for promoting global sustainability. There are several trends set to shape these sustainability efforts in 2020. Here are five to watch.

1. Human Rights in the Crosshairs 

There is little debate that technology has improved much about everyday life, both at work and play.  Though most people take advantage of social media, search engines, and other resources as a way to gain access to information, there is a negative side.

The concern is that big tech may pose threats against human rights, in particular where data privacy and surveillance are concerned. This may affect the most vulnerable segments of society because of how it is changing social protection.

Ariel Muller, managing director of sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future Asia Pacific, notes: 

“We are entering into a different operating environment where our current governance and civic structures for human rights protection are inadequate to deal with the darker side of big tech. We will have to adapt quickly with little knowledge on how to do so.”

According to a recent Amnesty International survey, seven out of ten people want governments to do more to regulate Big Tech, with 71 percent worried about how tech companies collect and use their personal data. That’s why sustainable innovation applications should be designed with social risks in mind.

2. Sustainable Finance: A Growing Sector

The sustainable finance market has grown right along with investor concerns for climate risk. This market considers any financial service that integrates the environment, government, or social issues into investment or business decisions. One example of this is the increasing popularity of green bonds in the Asia Pacific and Europe over the last five years.

Similarly, responsible investments are expected in 2020. Trends also show investors will move away from non-eco-friendly sectors such as coal.

3. Challenging Capitalism

Capitalism is evolving in 2020 as more people demand a new socio-economic system. Companies will be required to pay their share of taxes, show no tolerance for corruption, and uphold human rights throughout supply chains. The goal is to level the playing field, and this challenge will more than meet current needs.

4. Lab-grown Meat Becomes Common

In 2019, Impossible Foods created plant-based meat that tasted almost like the real thing. The market for this healthy and environmentally conscious alternative is expanding globally, even winding up in restaurants as more countries demand clean meat and more sustainable meat alternatives.

Packaged beef.

5. A Circular Economy Grows

As consumers continue efforts to eliminate single-use plastics, big businesses will turn to a circular economy with more environmentally friendly packaging. Though it will take some time to implement, this initiative will boost recycling and product reuse.

Success Through Sustainability and Innovation

As consumers continue to make their own adjustments, they will continue to demand companies do the same. Success through sustainability can be achieved one trend at a time, as shown by research that reveals 49 percent of global respondents said they would pay above average prices for products for high-quality products that are sustainable and safe to use. 

These sustainability trends in 2020 show that consumers really do care about how their actions are affecting the environment on a global level, an initiative that is becoming increasingly important to business owners as well. The result will be growing trends in sustainability and more innovative solutions designed to make the world a better place for everyone.

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