In recent years, the topic of sustainability has gained increasing attention and importance as we have become more aware of the impact of climate change on our planet. As we move into 2023, we can expect to see continued efforts to adopt sustainable practices and technologies that reduce our carbon footprint and protect our natural resources.
From renewable energy to sustainable materials, and from reducing waste to adopting plant-based foods, there are many exciting sustainability trends to watch in the coming year. This blog will explore 10 of the top global sustainability trends for 2023, providing insights into the changes we can expect to see and their potential impact on our environment, economy, and society.
The rise of renewable energy
The adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power is on the rise. More countries and companies are investing in these technologies, and costs are dropping. In 2021, renewable energy sources made up 72% of new power capacity added globally.
More focus on recycling
Recycling has always been an essential aspect of sustainability, and we can expect to see even more focus on this in 2023. Governments and businesses will increase efforts to promote recycling, and new recycling technologies will emerge to handle the increasing amounts of waste. The global recycling market is projected to reach $376 billion by 2025.
Sustainable transport and infrastructure
Sustainable transport options, such as electric vehicles, bicycles, and public transport, will continue to gain popularity in 2023. More investment will be made in sustainable infrastructure, such as bike lanes and pedestrian walkways, as cities strive to reduce their carbon footprint and improve the quality of life for their citizens.
Reducing food waste
Reducing food waste is essential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and in 2023, we can expect to see more efforts to tackle this issue. This will include improved food storage and preservation methods, as well as initiatives to donate excess food to those in need. Approximately one-third of all food produced globally is wasted, which amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes per year.
Adopting sustainable practices
More people will adopt sustainable practices such as purchasing second-hand products and reusing items. This can help reduce waste and the carbon footprint associated with the production of new products. The global second-hand market is projected to reach $64 billion by 2024, up from $28 billion in 2019.
Sustainable materials such as bamboo, hemp, and recycled plastics will continue to gain popularity in 2023. We can expect to see more companies investing in these materials as they strive to reduce their environmental impact. The global bamboo market is projected to reach $98.3 billion by 2025.
Increased brand responsibility & transparency
Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment, and in 2023, we can expect to see more companies taking responsibility for their environmental impact. This may include increased transparency about their sustainability practices and a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. A Nielsen survey found that 62% of consumers globally are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
The emergence of climate-positive technology
Advancements in technology are providing new opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint, and in 2023, we can expect to see even greater innovation in this area. From carbon capture technology to renewable energy storage solutions, we may see new technologies emerging that have a significant impact on our ability to combat climate change.
Remote work on the rise
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards remote work, and in 2023, we can expect to see even more people working from home. This can help reduce commuting emissions and the carbon footprint associated with office buildings. Remote work could reduce global carbon emissions by 54 million tonnes per year by 2040, according to Carbon Trust.
Plant-based and alternative foods on the menu
As more people become aware of the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, we can expect to see a continued demand for plant-based and alternative foods. In 2023, we may see more innovative plant-based products hitting the market, as well as a greater focus on sustainable farming practices. The plant-based meat market is projected to reach $35.4 billion by 2027, up from $12.1 billion in 2019.
All of these trends point to a growing awareness and commitment to sustainability, and we can all play a part in creating a more sustainable future. By adopting sustainable practices in our daily lives, supporting sustainable businesses, and advocating for government action on climate change, we can help to accelerate the adoption of these trends and create a more sustainable world.
It’s worth noting that these trends are not just important for the environment but also for our economy and society. The transition to a more sustainable world will create new jobs and opportunities, improve public health, and reduce inequality.
The 2023 global sustainability trends represent a significant shift towards a more sustainable future. By investing in renewable energy, reducing waste, adopting sustainable practices, and developing new technologies, we can create a world that is more resilient and equitable for everyone.
We all have a role to play in this transition, and by working together, we can create a better future for ourselves and for future generations.
- Countries like Norway, Uruguay, and Costa Rica have made significant strides towards adopting renewable energy sources, with over 90% of their electricity coming from renewables. Companies like Google have committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2022 and sourcing 100% renewable energy by 2030.
- Governments around the world are implementing new recycling initiatives to reduce waste and promote a circular economy. For example, Japan has implemented a comprehensive recycling system, where residents are required to separate their waste into different categories. The European Union has set a goal to recycle 55% of all plastic waste by 2030.
- Cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen have invested in sustainable transport options such as bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and electric vehicles. In the United States, the city of Los Angeles has launched an initiative to install 10,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2022.
- Supermarkets like Aldi and Tesco have launched initiatives to reduce food waste by offering discounted products that are close to their expiration date. The UK government has launched a £15 million food waste reduction fund to support innovative solutions to tackle the issue.
- Companies like ThredUP and Depop have created online marketplaces for buying and selling second-hand clothing. The city of San Francisco has implemented a zero waste program, where residents are encouraged to reuse and recycle as much as possible.
- Companies like Adidas and Patagonia are using sustainable materials like recycled polyester and organic cotton in their products. The fashion industry is also exploring alternatives to leather, such as mushroom-based materials and pineapple-based leather.
- Companies like H&M and Levi’s are increasing their transparency around their sustainability practices and commitments. Brands like Patagonia are taking a stand on social and environmental issues and using their platform to raise awareness.
- Companies like CarbonCure and Climeworks are developing innovative technologies to capture and store carbon dioxide. Tesla is leading the way in electric vehicle technology and renewable energy storage solutions.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards remote work, with companies like Twitter and Shopify announcing permanent work-from-home policies. The city of Paris has launched a program to encourage companies to adopt teleworking to reduce commuting emissions.
- Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are experiencing significant growth in their plant-based meat products. In the United States, the fast-food chain Dunkin’ Donuts has launched a plant-based sausage patty, and Burger King has introduced the Impossible Whopper.
These examples show that the 2023 global sustainability trends are not just theoretical concepts, but real-world initiatives that are making a difference. By adopting sustainable practices and technologies, we can reduce our carbon footprint and create a more sustainable future for all.