Sustainability Trends for 2016 and beyond
An aspiring speaker on sustainability related topics should be responsible for staying up to date on the latest sustainability trends. It is the least I can do for the people who take time out of their busy schedule to listen to me.
Now that 2016 has begun these are the trends I believe will occur in the sustainability sector during the upcoming year and beyond.
Green Products – not quite ready to pay……yet
The majority of consumers have a strong interest in sustainability and “green” products.
According to a white paper titles Customer Trends in Sustainability published by SolarCity 55% of consumers are actively seeking green products and services. However, they are not willing to pay for these products.
Vestas/TND Gallup reported 51% of consumers unwilling to pay more for products made with renewable energy. DDB reports 67% are unwilling to pay more for an environmentally safe version of a product and 76% are unwilling to accept a lower standard of living to conserve energy.
As the adoption of green products grows in scale a price will be reached these will no longer considered to be premium priced items.
Actions “talk”, feelings and opinions “walk”
In many ways we will move forward towards sustainability from the results of our “actions” not our feelings or opinions. Presently attitudes don’t always translate into purchase decisions when it comes to green products and services. Nonetheless, consumers will become more sustainable in their behaviors in 2016 and beyond as evidenced by Green America reporting growth trends show market share is increasingly going to green products and growth rates of “green” segments are outpacing conventional segments in all areas surveyed: renewable energy, green building, and , organics (both food and non-food).
Sustainable is a competitive differentiator to bottom line
Sustainability is a competitive differentiator to the bottom line of businesses which will cause companies looking to increase their bottom line to behave accordingly. Companies will act on their sustainability initiatives since the goal of any business to increase its profit. A study found 67% of executives stated the number one reason they are socially and environmentally conscious is for ‘cost management’ reasons.
Yes, Climate Change is real – finally we get it?
The evidence supporting the reality of climate change will become more accepted the populace. People will become more acclimated to the day-to-day effects of climate change including extreme weather, floods, and natural disasters. Society will come to accept the reality and begin to create solutions to mitigate the effects.
No sleep after Paris
In the aftermath of the COP 21 agreement there will be an increased number of sustainability initiatives. Companies are finding they engage and interact with their consumers which builds brand loyalty. Sustainability is a key topic of engagement which will lead to programs designed at reaching this audience.
The Road Forward
I am a firm believer we are moving forward but this not enough. We need to stay diligent and maintain our resolve. If you were not clear on the stakes, our planet’s future depends on it.