1. investing in clean energy for a healthy business
It is estimated that by 2050, the world's energy consumption will have doubled. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), between 700,000 and 1 million "green jobs" related to sustainable innovation and renewable energy will be created in Europe over the next 10 years. For the system to be technically and operationally sustainable, it is necessary to ensure the adaptation of electricity production plants and their distribution networks. These will ensure a continuous and stable flow of electricity, integrating renewable energy sources and enabling the creation of new services for consumers.
2. Moving towards zero-emission mobility
"Sustainable mobility" is an ambitious goal, which must take into account a 360° view and know what means and level of energy efficiency the transport of all direct (employees) and indirect (suppliers) "actors" of the same is produced. The concept of mobility is evolving to be a service and not a good, so pay-per-use will increasingly be a trend. Some of the options that have been growing as trends are also the purchase in ownership, financial leasing, short and medium term renting, renting (operational leasing), and resource sharing.
3. Recycle, reduce, and reuse
Each and every goods or service manufacturing process implies an environmental cost and, to reduce it, materials and waste must be optimized, increasing their useful life. Companies generate waste that is intrinsic to their activity and has to be managed properly, analyzing it in detail, trying to minimize it and prevent it from ending up in disposal treatments. From the manufacturers' point of view, the fundamental trend should be to increase the use of recyclable materials and, at the same time, increase the percentage of raw materials coming from recycling, thus reducing the consumption of virgin materials.
4. Innovate and digitize
Technology and digitalization should become key elements of sustainability, promoting better knowledge-based decisions and accelerating the realization of the 2030 Agenda. Technologies such as virtual reality, IoT, Big Data, AI and new cloud-based storage systems will enable scalable solutions while reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. It is estimated that 5G technology will be able to create social value in 11 of the UN's 17 SDGs, and that the adoption of telecommuting will have a direct impact on the lives of employees, the environment, social inclusion, gender inequalities, and the development of rural populations, among others.
5. Apply recovery and resilience plan funds
2030 will be a decisive decade for the European Union Member States and, in particular, for Portugal. With access to the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) funds guaranteed, a more competitive country in tune with Industry 4.0. priorities, aligned with the RRP dimensions: Resilience, Climate Transition and Digital Transition, must be guaranteed. Companies should focus on dematerializing production processes, creating commercialization channels or adopting a culture of experimentation and innovation, essential for a more digitalized society.
"The use of clean technologies and more sustainable practices will mean that the implementation of this model will have a cross-cutting impact on a large part of the SDGs. It seems irreversible that companies that do not follow the sustainability route will attract less talent and customers, lose market share, and eventually be overtaken by others aligned with the decade's agenda," said João Costa, Country Manager at Expense Reduction Analysts.