At the moment we need 1.6 Earths to provide us with resources, and you don’t have to be a math whiz to notice that we are “a bit” off. We are already noticing the overconsumption, overpopulation and overproduction effects worldwide, and even if you live in a bubble, it will inevitably burst. That is why we must switch gears and start moving towards a more sustainable future. This means finding new ways of meeting the needs of the present without jeopardizing generations yet to come.
A sustainable future has become a priority to many businesses, organizations and individuals. And how to become sustainable other than through innovations and collaboration. Globalization and technology have made us more aware that we are all connected and that we all share the same home – Earth, and that only with the joint effort can we come up with innovative ideas and solutions which will benefit us all. Creating a sustainable future gives you and your business the opportunity to be a part of one of the greatest initiatives mankind has been a part of. You don’t have to come up with groundbreaking discoveries and create mind-blowing technologies to make a difference. Improvements on your current products and/or services and processes that you use can be a step forward. Looking into new ways of how you can incorporate sustainable solutions into your business and even everyday life is definitely the way to go.
The circular economy has started reshaping our approach to how we produce and dispose of goods, and made us aware of how much waste we produce that can be used as valuable resources in a new cycle of production. It incorporates a sustainable design from the very start, having recycling in mind. It is difficult to switch to Zero waste immediately, but unlike the linear approach, the circular economy seems to be the answer to a sustainable future. When it comes to innovative minds, it challenges you to think outside the box we’ve been all used to, and reimagine the reality and life of every product, service and process. In a circular economy where everyone and everything is connected, there is plenty of room screaming for innovative solutions.
Greener solutions are emerging across industries and are even more accelerating innovation expansion. Innovative technologies are being combined to create more innovative technologies and the possibilities are becoming endless. The construction industry, being responsible for 28% of the world’s CO2 emissions, is looking into new ways of reducing the carbon footprint. The zero-energy building wouldn’t be possible without a lot of innovative solutions such as the use of solar panels, led light bulbs and smart lighting, green roofs, efficient use of rainwater, smart glass, and new non-toxic materials and so on. Even the erosion of beaches because extensive use of sand for construction can be to a certain extent reduced thanks to glass powder – recycling glass into fine powder. The Global net-zero energy buildings market share value is estimated to reach 2.1 billion by 2024.
A giant waste producer – the fashion industry, is becoming more sustainable, incorporating as much recycled material as possible. The recycling approach of used garments is one way to go, while the other is certainly finding materials that are a more sustainable alternative. The reduce-reuse-recycle state of mind challenges everyone to think differently and seek out green solutions. This means that waste for one can be a valuable asset and resource for another.
Another CO2 emitter is for sure the food industry if we combine all of its elements. Besides all technologies being used today, that have created a more sustainable environment, lab-grown meat can be that extra mile that can make a huge difference in reducing not only the carbon footprint but animal cruelty as well. Vertical farming has already become a trend, and there are certainly more to follow.
Inspiration for a sustainable world is all around us. We just have to see how nature does it because nature does it best. Innovations inspired by nature, biomimicry, are becoming more important, as we stop to see nature’s solutions and the answers we find never disappoint us. From different patterns, shapes and colors, nature seems to know it all. It is up to us to recognize its potential and use it in an innovative way.
All these innovations wouldn’t be possible without the right legal support of the government. Governments should support sustainable initiatives and design laws that will enable the flourishing of innovation from which we will all benefit from. Import duties on green products can be eliminated and/or reduced as a part of the initiative, as well as grants for green/sustainable projects. Businesses should switch from traditionally focusing on profit, turnover, and market share and shareholder value to a broader approach, incorporating social and environmental issues as the new goals.
The bottom line is that no matter the industry you are in, there is plenty of room for improvement and undoubtedly a great number of innovative solutions you can incorporate that will work towards a more sustainable future. If we’ve learned anything in the past year or two, it is that perhaps we don’t have to be at the office daily in order to finish our work. This could be the easiest way to cut down utility costs and simultaneously save money on gas and reduce CO2 emissions. But that can just be the start of your sustainable initiative. Best way to gather new ideas is to collaborate with your team, and how better to do that than with Innovation Cloud. Join the platform and see where your genius ideas will take you and your team!