THE TURNING POINT FOR GREEN CREDENTIALS
Sustainability thinking in business – often termed the ‘triple bottom line’ or ‘people, planet and profit’ – has been a growing trend over the last two decades, but in 2020 we hit an historic turning point.
A potent combination of rising climate awareness, disastrous wildfires and flooding, the rise of the ‘net zero’ agenda, the coming of age of a more environmentally conscious generation (millennials now make up the majority of the workforce), and of course the COVID-19 pandemic, have put sustainability at the centre of business thinking.
The new normal
Surveys over the last 12 months paint a game changing picture. In a poll conducted shortly after the first national lockdown in 2020 by the Carbon Trust, over 70 per cent of companies said sustainability would become more of a priority because of the pandemic.
Several months later, HSBC surveyed 1,000 UK businesses about their plans for 2021 and found that more than three quarters expect to grow this year by increasing their focus on sustainability. The concept of a ‘green recovery’ has taken centre stage.
The rise of net zero
In the same HSBC survey, nearly three quarters of businesses said they plan to commit to net zero emissions – balancing the greenhouse gases they put into the atmosphere with those they take out.
In 2019, the UK became the first major nation to set a net zero target into law. Today, around 70 per cent of the global economy is covered by a net zero target or a commitment to introduce one.
Since its launch late last year, thousands of companies have joined the global Race to Zero campaign to halve their emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 at the latest.
“Firms genuinely want to build back better and have sustainability and the move to a net zero economy right at the top of their priority lists as they look to adapt their operations to the ‘new normal’. This greater focus on sustainability by businesses will help them to build their reputations and make better connections to their customers.” Rob King, Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC UK
The tipping point to sustainable business has arrived. Get in touch today to find out how you can join the thousands of other businesses already boosting their green credentials by buying better, using less and generating their own.
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