Nearly 150 years ago, an English chemist William Perkin tried to synthesize the alkaloid quinine (to help treat malaria) from coal tar but ended up synthesizing a beautiful purple dye—mauve. It was the beginning of using fossil fuel-derived hydrocarbons as the foundation of the twentieth-century industrial revolution. It changed everything from the fundamental chemical synthesis and physical environment to the human health state. Modern society continues to depend on fossil fuel-based hydrocarbons to make dyes and develop almost every chemical or material in the market. Fossil fuels became primary source of energy. Moreover, Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries led to significant technological advances leading to an exponential increase in human consumption of non-renewable resources. Increases in energy and resource consumption in many parts of the world have also been increasingly inequitable. This has led to differentials in capacity to trade due to differences in power and bargaining positions in world markets.
Over the last 50 years, significant historical events have drawn attention to the world’s environmental crisis and public awareness led to more sustainable living choices. And given the current environmental challenges, corporate systems are also taking strategic actions to maintain high environmental expectations and applaud businesses that continue to prioritize and work at the forefront of environmental innovation. So the concept of sustainability emerged in the context of a growing awareness of an imminent environmental crisis, and has been one of the driving forces of world history. The word “sustainability” is often integrated in business with the belief that the current ways of doing things will be able to balance economic development with related environmental and social issues. There are, however, immense challenges that threaten the very sustainability of our global society, let alone individual businesses or developments.
What are the challenges in sustainability path?
-No common set of rules for sustainability
-Companies have difficulty discriminating between the most important opportunities and threats on the horizon
-The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not legally binding
-Implementation and success will rely on countries’ own sustainable development policies, plans and programmes.
Sustainability trends to adopt
-Sustainable Business Value including sustainability reporting, sustainability rating and indices, and sustainability accounting
– Regulatory compliance, Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)
– More climate change disclosures
– Consumer sentiments on sustainable products
New rules on corporate sustainability reporting (CSR)- The new EU Directive, as the third pillar of the EU’s sustainability reporting framework, will require listed and large companies and groups operating in the EU to report on a broad range of ESG matters. Non-EU companies generating a net turnover of more than €150 million, and having a subsidiary or a branch in the EU generating more than €40 million net turnover, also fall within the scope of the CSRD.
Breakdown of the companies/continent focused on sustainability and their strategy by 2025 - 30
The 21st century reveal a new paradigm in which business is no longer separate from society—realizing the new “business-as-society. The cost of green hydrogen has been steadily decreasing in recent years. Because of this, the market is expected to be worth as much as $11 trillion by 2030. So, creating a circular economy is an essential sustainability target for stakeholders across the industry. With notable market drivers, including increasing regulatory pressures, the world is witnessing a surge in market activity that will move the entire landscape over the next decade.