Sustainability has become something of a buzzword in recent years, with corporations and individuals the world over becoming increasingly aware of the need to implement measures to help save the planet.
Developments such as renewable energy, hybrid and electric vehicles and smart technology, all of which are designed to create a more sustainable future, are becoming ever more popular. Some of the environmental advantages of hybrid vehicles are explored in the PDF attachment to this post.
Marcel Kooter has a long-held professional and personal interest in creating a more sustainable future, developing solutions that meet our long-term energy needs but with a focus on greener, more circular solutions.
The Blue Planet Effect
One aspect of the recent surge in interest in sustainability has been coined the ‘Blue Planet Effect’. Some statistics regarding this can be found in the embedded infographic.
After watching the finale of the second season of Blue Planet (narrated by David Attenborough) on television, the attitudes of a large percentage of the global population regarding the use of plastic began to change dramatically. In his narration, Attenborough urged viewers to take a moment to consider their own plastic use and how they could curb this to help preserve the environment.
The series was shown widely across the world – it was the first ever programme of its type to premier simultaneously in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and the Nordic regions, and was later shown in the United States. Moving scenes about the effect of plastic on marine life promoted many millions of consumers to protest and begin changing their habits, which had the knock-on effect of forcing companies to change their own policies.
Another direct result of the airing of the final episode of Blue Planet II was that sustainable investment suddenly became a mainstream, rather than alternative, option for many investors. Impact investing is now more popular than ever before, with investors seeking social and environmental benefits to their investments as well as financial reimbursement.
With individuals, businesses and investors all jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, steps are certainly being taken in the right direction for a greener future. However, if this future is to be sustainable, these types of actions must be embodied in every single action every business takes.
Circular Economy at the Core
If businesses are to drive and maintain a truly sustainable approach, sustainability needs to be embedded at the very core of each strategy and action a business implements or takes. This means that environmental impact needs to become the top priority when any new business strategy is under discussion. Rather than being an afterthought, environmental impact should be threaded throughout every aspect of all businesses, with owners and managers prioritising things such as recyclability, reusability and limiting waste in every decision.
We are already seeing many examples of sustainable solutions to global environmental challenges in the modern world. As examples taken from the Sustainia100 Guide, one company in the US has introduced the EcoATM, where individuals can take their unwanted mobile phones, MP3 players and tablets and convert them into cash. The products are then either reused or recycled, which keeps millions of potential tonnes of e-waste away from landfill. EcoNation has produced the product LightCatchers, which works to make commercial buildings more energy efficient by tracking sunlight through specially designed smart skylights and reducing energy use by turning off lights whenever they are not required.
The short video attachment explains more about the Sustainia100 Guide.
Marcel Kooter is a commercial strategist and business leader working in the international downstream oil industry, with many years of experience in P&L ownership. Kooter’s specialist area includes fuels and lubricants, with in-depth knowledge of the entire supply chain from molecule to consumer. Kooter has a proven track record of growing businesses and improving bottom line income delivery, and he is known for his astute and innovative commercial strategies. Marcel Kooter currently works as a Senior Consultant.