- 1. DEMAND FOR PLANT-BASED FOODS INCREASE DUE TO ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS
A popular sustainability trend is the plant-based diet. Orders for plant-based and vegan food are multiplying quickly and consistently. This is due to consumer concern about the meat industry – not only the animal cruelty aspect, but the environmental impact. In the United States alone, agriculture and forestry accounted for 9.0 percent of 2017 US greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. Twenty six percent of land on earth is used for livestock grazing and one-third of arable land is used to produce crops to feed livestock. The vegan lifestyle is becoming much more affordable, adding to its popularity, along with the creative ways in which to maintain a protein balance. Stay tuned for lab grown meat as the industry grows overnight.
- 2. AWAY WITH FAST FASHION
Fast fashion is one of the largest polluters in the world. Fast fashion brands like Zara, Forever 21, H & M, Urban Outfitters, and Fashion Nova, create a scrappy quality of clothing and machine-made clothing with a short shelf life, both in durability and style. Most of the clothes are not recycled and end up in landfills. As a result, one of the current sustainability trends is smaller entrepreneurial brands focused on the reduction of waste in production. Consumers are more aware than ever of their environmental footprint and are making the shift from fast fashion to more creative ways of being an eco-friendly consumer.
Water covers around 70 per cent of the earth’s surface and is crucial in the survival of all living things. The production of taking ocean resources aligns with 2021 sustainability goals. Earlier this month, the 14 markets that form part of the Ocean Panel, including Australia, Canada and Japan, committed to sustainably manage 100 per cent of the ocean area under national jurisdiction by 2025. If achieved, this commitment could help produce more food from the ocean, generate more renewable energy and help millions of people out of poverty.
Human consumption of resources and our carbon output continues to have a negative impact on biodiversity – all the various kinds of life present in the natural world. According to the WWF’s Living Planet Report, the population of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians has fallen by an average of 68 per cent since 1970 due to human impact on the planet. Carbon storage and transmission cannot happen soon enough, and biodiversity demands our immediate attention.
How to reduce waste is of the utmost concern. The concept of a circular economy – reduce, recycle, reuse – are core concepts, which means less products and infrastructure are created and used for longer. The result is lower pollution and carbon emissions.
Moderating consumption to help conserve resources is also key to the circular economy. We’re overusing the Earth’s biocapacity by at least 56 percent.
India and China are two markets where there are significant circular economy opportunities, while in Europe, Slovenia was committed to becoming a fully circular economy in January 2020. Other markets globally are catching up at a slower pace.
The issue of carbon reduction will continue to be a hot topic in 2021. The world recognizes that to achieve a net-zero carbon planet by 2050, which under the Paris Agreement will help curb the worst effects of global warming, action needs to be taken quickly. Following the lead of China, which announced its own carbon neutrality commitment, the United States is expected to follow in 2021. Transitioning away from carbon in a way that protects workers’ rights and communities reliant on carbon intensive industries, will become a major focu