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Sustainability Trends in 2024

By 
Keslio Team
5
 minute read  
|  
March 19, 2024
A collage of illustrations showing sustainable technology and cities.

Sustainability in 2024

2023 marked improvements in the sustainability landscape, with more businesses and countries advocating and implementing practices that can mitigate climate change and impact society. Developments have also been made towards transparent and accurate reporting. Awareness on climate and nature-related risk has increased. Amidst economic disruptions and geopolitics playing a role in business operations, global organizations continue to push for sustainable practices to secure a better future economically, socially, and environmentally.

As the world continues to change, as the environment and society increasingly impact the way businesses operate, the future of sustainability evolves. Entering 2024, sustainability is becoming more of a necessity than an option.

Key Trends

2024 sees new trends and changes in sustainable practices, ranging from improved policies, reshaped business operations, and applying new technology into our lives. Moving closer to set goals that can be as close as 2030 entails a more aggressive approach in practicing sustainability.

Reporting and Regulations

Sustainability reporting has been deemed an alphabet soup of standards and frameworks which have tendencies to overlap with one another. Organizations have struggled in developing reports as they are challenged by the continuous development and evolution of requirements and standards which adapt to global changes and demands. Sustainability reporting is a valuable practice as it promotes transparency and accountability, yet implementation can be daunting without proper guidance or knowledge.

2024 sees a rise in sustainability reporting as governments create or improve policies that mandate these reports for large or publicly listed companies. Businesses can also begin to take their own initiative and develop their own sustainability reports. On the other side of reporting, institutions responsible for crafting sustainability reporting standards and frameworks are aligning their standards with others to ensure consistent and robust reporting. As more organizations implement their own sustainability reports, these standards and frameworks will continue to improve towards a comprehensive format organizations can easily understand and apply.

Reporting requirements are also increasing to keep up with new discoveries and environmental impacts. In 2024, we may see a rise in climate and nature-related risk disclosures, Scope 1, 2, and 3 reports and mitigation strategies, and additional steps on third-party assurance.

2024 looks like a year led by governing bodies and institutions. Through improved structures and new regulations, sustainability becomes a relevant player in businesses and organizations.

Renewable Energy

Energy led to major conversations in 2023. COP28 showed world leaders agreeing to transition away from fossil fuels. 2024 can see scaled initiatives towards renewable energy. This will be seen in more organizations and countries adopting renewable energy sources, such as solar, hydroelectric, and wind. Countries have already been seen to shut down coal plants. Fossil fuels and nonrenewable energy can eventually be phased out in the following years as the switch to renewable energy occurs.

Transportation is also seen to be affected by climate change and sustainability. The demand for electric vehicles has significantly increased over time. Consumers, who are considering sustainability and impact in their decision-making process, have shown interest in the use of electric vehicles. Governments and businesses with the capacity are also likely to support electric vehicles through shifting to the sustainable alternative and providing support to users.

Renewable energy can lead us closer to sustainable development goals as it reduces air pollution and creates no greenhouse gas emissions, thus improving the quality of life and reducing the impact of climate change and natural disasters.

Circularity

Businesses look like they are heading towards sustainable operations. Global circularity is still at a low yet initiatives may change that as businesses seek to innovate. Plastic waste is still abundant. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and waste management laws can reduce waste, yet tying this to recycling and innovation can lead to circular supply chains and production lines as used consumer goods and services are given another purpose beyond their lifecycle.

Supply chain management may also consider locality and social impact. Sustainability does not just consist of the environmental impact but it also includes social responsibility and transformation. This 2024, businesses may be looking more into sustainable sourcing, procurement, and logistics, optimizing their operations and reducing costs and emissions. Additionally, they may also start integrating social impact through working with and supporting local communities that play key roles in their value chain.

AI and Technology

AI and technology sparked many debates in 2023, but its growth and usage will continue to rise this 2024. Policies on the ethical use of AI may encourage more businesses to take advantage of the new technology and incorporate it in their operations. Through proper use, monitoring, and maintenance, and by integrating science and technology with human practices and quality assurance, businesses can further streamline operations. AI can be incorporated into sustainable practices and be used in tracking their performance and reporting data. AI can also improve the use of resources and thus reduce energy consumption and emissions.

Advanced technology and AI allows sustainability to be streamlined and implemented easily into a business.

The Future of Sustainability

Sustainability initiatives are responses and precautions to a world that rapidly changes and fluctuates environmentally and socially. These are just a few of the many trends or predictions that may develop this 2024. Other developments in sustainability could be found in the emergence and growth of climate fintech, green investments, carbon markets, conscious consumerism, nature and biodiversity risk disclosures, and legislation and policies with an impact that can reach local to international levels. As we move closer to attaining net zero and sustainable development goals, more urgency is required across all stakeholders, from governing bodies to large corporations, from local communities to nonprofit organizations.  

Sustainability will continue to grow as climate change and social structures continue to affect our lives. It is in our hands to steer ourselves towards a world where sustainability is not done during a race against time, but done to ensure a secure and safe future.

At Keslio, we are deeply passionate about sustainability, equipping us with the expertise and extensive network needed to guide clients through their sustainability journey effectively and efficiently. Our expertise is particularly valuable for companies looking to embed sustainability practices into their businesses and investors looking to integrate ESG and impact into investment portfolios. To learn more about how Keslio can assist your organization on its sustainability journey, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

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