SustainAbility’s Trends 2020 report

Consultancy and think tank SustainAbility have published their annual trends report setting out the top 10 social and environmental issues and challenges expected to dominate in 2020.

The numbers

  • Agriculture and forestry are responsible for more than 20% of GHG emissions.
  • A transition to a circular economy could generate $4.5 trillion in additional economic output by 2030.
  • 25 million people are estimated to work in forced labour conditions worldwide.
  • A million species are currently threatened with extinction.
  • The World Health Organization estimates untreated depression and anxiety cost $1 trillion in global productivity every year.

The content

Top 10 2020 expected sustainability trends:

  1. Climate mitigation – ‘the climate mitigation decade’ will see a transition to a low-carbon energy
  2. A changed climate – climate risk and preparedness will need to be taken seriously
  3. Circular solutions – more innovation and circular solutions are being brought to market
  4. Plastics – 2020 will be a ‘pivotal year’ for action
  5. Sustainable consumption – we need to match global consumption with planetary boundaries
  6. Supply chain – the real challenge for many companies will lie in their supply chain
  7. Protecting biodiversity – the business world needs to act to help protect biological biodiversity
  8. Tech for the SDGs – technology can solve complex social and environmental problems
  9. Human capital – creating a happy, healthy, and equal workplace will be critical to success
  10. Sustainable finance – now moving into the mainstream

The verdict

This is an extremely comprehensive, well thought-out report which gives a useful oversight into the key challenges many sustainability professionals are grappling with, as well as offering thoughts on how to help solve them. Understandably, environmental issues dominate this year.

The report introduces each issue, provides data, tips for business, and case studies to bring each issue to life. It acknowledges where progress being made, but equally doesn’t shy away from highlighting areas that need faster, more definitive action like child labour and deforestation.

Last word

At 81 pages long, this isn’t a quick skim, but for those looking to get under the skin of the main social and environmental challenges we’ll all be facing this year, it’s worth putting the kettle on for. It’s easy to read and provides lots of practical advice. The major theme is the pace of change that will be required to¬† build a sustainable economy. Time to put your running shoes on!

No Comments

Post A Comment