2020, also labeled as the worst year in a century, has ended. Now, we are in 2021, more prepared to deal with the havoc that is COVID-19.
The former year has set some historical records in terms of financial losses, loss of lives, and economic turmoil. As a result, new trends are developed for sustainability and overall eco wellness.
Though many parts of the world are back to normalcy, some transformations are here to stay for good. Based on the previous happenings and current economic conditions, experts have come up with various sustainability predictions.
Let us discuss a few of them:
- Work from Home
One thing is clear; we can never come back to the pre-corona world. We do not want to. Though vaccinations are now available, there are multiple reasons to stay virtual. Some of them include:
- Risk of Catching the Virus
Even if the pandemic completely settles down, we have no clue when a new type of virus may crop up. Additionally, people will require a lot of time to realize that they are now living in a corona-free world.
Those who have lost their loved ones from COVID-19 are scared and stressed. They will never want to take any risk for their lives as they have experienced its side effects firsthand. Though the stress will eventually subside, being safe will be their priority.
Remote Work Benefits
Apart from the harmful effects, this pandemic has also taught us some great lessons. With remote working, firms can reduce costs and become more sustainable. Besides this, time required in commuting can be utilized for productive activity. Carbon-emissions can also be controlled, and most importantly, convenience is great.
Therefore, VR concerts, online appointments, and online meetings are already a norm. Zoom, Skype, Slack, and other software have made it easier to switch work online. Due to this, several businesses like cleaning companies, software houses, travel agencies, and many others are completely operating online.
Work from home is also beneficial for the environment; here is how:
- Less pollution as employees do not need to travel to work
- Less fuel consumption; which reduces the overall carbon footprint
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduced use of electricity
- Reduced office waste
2. Generation Z Will Shape the World
Undoubtedly, Generation Z (people born from 1980 to 2000) is a key focus of all consumer brands. It is expected that these millennials will overtake the spending power by 2031. There is a big difference in their priorities.
Their key focus is on climate change, and this is what makes them different from others. It is expected that brands will embrace their values and will shape their products as per the millennial’s expectations.
3. 360 Degree Brands – Perfection in Every Step
No matter how small your decision is, it needs to be perfect in 2021. One wrong thing can fill your social media with complaints and negative reviews. Furthermore, you can no longer hide any single aspect from your consumer. People are now educated and well-aware.
They will not like your non-eco packing and can even investigate your factory’s carbon emissions. So, the environment should be the priority. Besides this, you should have a coherent strategy, a well-defined company culture, and a solid team.
4. Actions for Positive Climate
Though it is great to show up that your company is not creating extra carbon for the environment, this is not enough. Big companies like Fast, Unilever, Flora, etc., are highlighting their positive climate conservation activities.
For instance, providing support in tree planting, carbon capture, utilizing natural resources in an ethical manner, reducing their water and carbon footprint, using biodegradable materials, etc. This climate positivity is necessary for businesses, not just to make them look good but to ensure their survival as Gen Z takes over.
5. Green Financing
As I have mentioned above, consumers are well-educated and conscious today. The days are gone when we consumers invested without bothering to ask where their money will be invested.
Today, green activists have brought a gigantic change. They have started a trend of knowing where the money will go. In this way, they can withdraw the amount in case if it is invested in activities like deforestation, industrial livestock farming, etc.
More and more people want to invest in sustainable ventures and will have a positive impact on the world. Therefore, we can expect a rise in financing for green businesses.
6. A Big Change in Fashion
Activists have started raising concerns regarding textile waste, microfibers, and factories. Therefore, some new trends in the fashion industry are likely to come. For instance, a lot of diversity is here to come. It means gender-neutral clothing will stay in fashion. Similarly, order-made dresses will be in the trend. Brands manufacture in bulk, and when the stock is left behind, it results in clogging our lands.
7. WELL Buildings
You must have heard about LEED Buildings that are designed according to safe environmental standards. Since COVID-19 has transformed almost everything, LEED buildings have also been replaced with a better alternative.
Construction companies are investing in WELL buildings. These buildings are designed for sustainability and the mental well-being of the tenant(s). Their design, use of human-made resources, and use of natural resources will be such that it maximizes health and minimizes negative effects on the environment.
8. Local Travel will See a Boost
Undoubtedly, international visits have a great charm. However, the pandemic has bought an end to all international travels. Moreover, the spike in international travel is havoc for the climate as air travel is the biggest source of pollution.
Therefore, local travel will be the trend as green-centric tourists explore their own country. People are now planning to explore their own cities and have more road-trips with friends and family. This new trend is budget-friendly, safe, and keeps you close to the family.
9. Corporations will Invest in Green Energy
Renewable, sustainable, or green energy are the names given to sources of energy that do not harm the environment. They are alternatives to fossil-fuel energy, which are responsible for carbon and greenhouse emissions.
More and more companies will start investing in renewable energy as they seek to reduce their carbon footprint. Going green is not an option anymore; it is necessary for the company’s survival as traditional resources of energy are already depleting. Businesses cannot survive without going green.
Hence, you will see heavy investment in wind, solar, and bioenergy from companies in every industrial sector.
10. Communities will Adopt Green Microgrids
Sustainable microgrids are on the rise; communities and businesses will adopt this trend to meet their energy needs. The Asia Pacific region is especially vested in microgrids as they face an energy crisis and the rising energy needs of their industry push for alternatives.
Small solar units to power homes and cottage industries, small water turbines, and wind energy to power factories are becoming the norm. Energy self-sufficiency is being rewarded by governments also; the government gives consumers incentives to make their own sustainable energy.
Wrapping It Up
In short, we can notice a lot of new trends for the current year. From work from home and 360 brand perfection to climate positivity and green financing, new trends will evolve everywhere.
Similarly, Generation Z will force companies to go green, the fashion industry will change to accommodate sustainable fashion, and people will prefer local travel to reduce their carbon footprint.
Finally, businesses and communities will invest more in renewable sources of energy; we will see a rise in green microgrids, especially in Asia. Although these trends are promising, a commitment to the preservation of Earth is necessary from all stakeholders to make these efforts effective.