Boca Raton, Florida, 16th February 2021, ZEXPRWIRE – Looking ahead in 2021, there are many ways businesses and individuals can plan their transition to more sustainable operations and living, not just building back but building forward. Some ideas involve bringing back into focus the areas that were paramount before COVID-19.
The pandemic put limitations on the business world’s ability to focus on long term goals, including their carbon footprints, this forced business leaders to reimagine their entire operations while working through a logistics nightmare, soaring shipping costs, and a global economic downturn. While figuring out how best to operate in the new normal, we must also renew our commitment to sustainability.
In the past month, we have seen several industry titans announce ambitious new goals towards greater environmental stewardship and responsibility. One notable example is Société Bic S.A., a world leader in stationery, lighters and shavers, the French company announced that it will transform their approach to make plastic improvements. They committed that by 2030, it aims for 50% non-virgin petroleum plastic for its products and that by 2025, 100% of their consumer plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
Kraft Heinz is also designing for recyclability. By producing and utilizing the most effective materials to pack and protect their products to reduce food waste, the company has reduced its operational packaging impacts even further into 2021.
Another industry leader, True Green Enterprises, Inc., the leading manufacturer of tree free paper products since 2013, have started manufacturing their toilet paper and facial tissue in the USA. This change allows the company to lower their carbon footprint while continuing to supply the pandemic with much needed paper goods. Terry Lehmann, CEO of the Women Owned Business says, “we plan to manufacture all our bamboo paper products in the USA by the end of 2022. Paper towels consumption is up over 20% since the COVID-19 pandemic started, so we are manufacturing our paper goods locally to keep up with the demand and help grocers, restaurants, and schools with their supply chain.” Smart entrepreneurs like Terry are making a world of difference.
Dow, another leader in the paper industry, have affirmed their targets towards protecting the climate in 2021, closing the loop, and achieving carbon neutrality. They are confident that in this next year, they will continue to see many more companies do the same.
In the developing world, where countries typically have fewer resources to deploy, and, in some cases, larger yet much poorer populations, the challenges of the pandemic have been especially burdensome to the people living there. At the same time, these regions face a range of sustainability issues that will be more difficult to solve than through emulation of the more prosperous countries.
A key driver for sustainable growth not just in the developing world, but everywhere, is collaboration – creating change through partnerships between the corporate sector and local businesses, governments, and universities.
If the 2020 business mindset was focused on how to survive, the slogan for 2021 will be about how to thrive – and the key to achieving this will be innovation. This is especially the case when it comes to innovative solutions for advancing sustainability, reducing carbon emissions, eliminating waste, and pushing the world towards becoming more circular.
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Guardian Talks journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.