Utilizing resources in such a way that future generations can still use them is the underlying idea for all sustainable practices. Businesses aren’t unfamiliar with these practices.
It’s part of a company’s environment, social, and corporate governance (ESG) strategy. With sustainable operations, businesses monitor non-renewable energy resources, reduce costs, and minimize the emission of hazardous byproducts. It’s easy to lose track of these things without energy management software.
Businesses have to prove compliance with regulatory standards focused on promoting sustainable operations. Government agencies also use sustainable platforms to measure the impact of emissions on climate.
Let’s look into some interesting statistics that help both individuals and businesses understand how the world is moving toward a sustainable future.
Key sustainability statistics and trends
Sustainability evolves as new technologies and regulations come into play. Explore the current dynamics with these recent stats.
80% of carbon emissions could be reduced by switching from fossil fuels to gas boilers or heat pumps in ten to fifteen years.
The cost difference between standard and low-carbon heating options will become more comparable in 2023.
of global emissions come from how we heat our homes and offices.
Reducing and reusing products has been a growing trend in 2023. 42% of shoppers purchasing second hand products are within the age range of 18 to 37.
The second hand products market is predicted to grow by 127% by 2026.
Working from home reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 600,000 cars contribute to it.
73.2% of global greenhouse gas emission comes from energy utilization.
Residential solar energy production observed 34% growth.
Wind energy contributes to 10% of total renewable energy consumption.
70,000 wind turbines operated across the United States in 2022.
Transitioning to sustainable practices globally could lead to $26 trillion in savings by 2030.
Over 20 cities are part of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance whose purpose is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050.
A third of Europe’s most prominent corporations have committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Only 9% of these companies are currently on the path to realizing this target.
While a substantial 90% of business executives recognize the significance of sustainability, only 60% of firms have a dedicated sustainability strategy in place.
67% of businesses have begun to use more eco-friendly materials, such as recycled substances and products that generate lower emissions.
A noteworthy 66% of companies are undertaking measures to boost their energy efficiency.
About 57% of businesses have initiated using energy-efficient or climate-friendly machinery, technology, and equipment.
Similarly, 57% of these firms train employees with a focus on climate change and actionable strategies.
Sustainability in the transport and logistics sector
Increased adoption of electric vehicles, bicycle transport, and low-carbon public transport have all helped to make strides in popularizing sustainability in the transportation industry.
While these shifts contribute to smaller carbon footprints, the industry still needs correction in reducing carbon emissions at the source. For example, driving an electric vehicle may seem like a sustainable option, but you consider that 60.2 % of U.S. electricity was generated from fossil fuels in 2022.
41% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions came from passenger vehicles in 2022.
of carbon emissions are reduced if you use a bike instead of a car for a day.
Transportation is responsible for 20.2% of carbon emissions on a global scale.
42 electric vehicle (EV) car models will be available in the market in 2023.
EV sales increased 44.9% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to Q4 2022.
EVs will account for 13% of the global automotive market in 2023.
Volvo aims to only sell electric cars by 2030. Bentley announced that they plan to launch their all-electric models by 2025 and four other electric models by 2029.
Sustainability in the food sector
Industry experts predict that minimizing food waste and managing it sustainably will be a priority in 2023 for many countries. Although food can be used for composting, businesses and households have yet to see widespread adoption of such methods.
When wasted food reaches the landfill, it damages the soil and water quality, contributing to high carbon emission. Plus, organic waste releases methane when thrown into landfill.
50% fewer emissions come from organic waste when it decomposes naturally instead of being deposited in landfills.
Electric composters break down compostable plastics and waste in hours rather than weeks. They’re on track to becoming a trend in 2023.
of food produced for humans and living beings goes to waste.
72% of food waste – or 1.3 billion tons of food – in landfill sites can be composted.
Not eating meat and dairy products reduces 73% of an individual’s carbon footprint.
30-90% of greenhouse gas emissions reduce when you transition toward a vegetarian diet. A big reason is that plant-based meat uses 47-99% less land than animal meat.
13.8% of all food gets lost in supply chain processes.
Discarded food accounts for 14% of squandered freshwater resources.
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization projects a 5.5% increase in water withdrawals from 2008 to 2050.
Sustainability in construction and building materials
According to environmental experts, the construction industry is far from adopting sustainable practices. Organizations need to make considerable shifts and transitions to achieve sustainability in their operations. If the industry fails to make critical changes, carbon emissions could double by 2050.
Look at these statistics to understand the present trends and what it’s going to take to achieve sustainability in the construction industry.
10 gigatonnes of carbon emissions came from building and construction in 2021.
The Paris Agreement aims to reduce buildings’ energy intensity by 30% per square meter by 2030.
of world carbon emissions came from the construction sector in 2022.
53% of construction executives expect sustainability trends to accelerate in the foreseeable future.
Sustainable packaging trends
Environment-friendly or sustainable packaging is the talk of the town lately. Many consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging options instead of using plastics. Paper-based packaging material is also more likely to be recycled than plastic packaging in the industry.
Explore the stats below to see how the packaging businesses are responding (or have responded) to more sustainable alternatives.
A considerable 70% of customers are prepared to pay a premium for environmentally friendly packaging.
Containers and packaging are derived from paper products, accounting for over 50%.
of consumers want more sustainable packaging to reduce plastic usage.
Out of 41.9 million tons of generated paper containers, 80.9% are successfully recycled.
Implementing sustainable packaging designs has the potential to mitigate up to 3.8 million greenhouse gas emissions.
A substantial 69% of customers regard sustainable packaging as a paramount practice.
Notably, 67% of consumers view purchasing recyclable products as significant, with 64% expressing the same sentiment about packaging fabricated from recycled materials.
Sustainable living statistics
Even though 100 corporations are responsible for 71% of global emissions, as an individual, you can make a little impact by opting for sustainable choices in your daily lives. The trends below tell us a lot about how individuals perceive and consider sustainable living rather than a non-environmental friendly lifestyle.
In 2022, the likelihood of consumers buying from eco-friendly sources surged by 26% compared to 2020.
Millennials are twice as inclined as the baby boomer generation to alter their habits to diminish environmental impact.
70% of consumers express willingness to pay higher prices for environmentally conscious brands.
of respondents admit they're taking steps toward sustainability, but acknowledge room for improvement.
These statistics and trends underscore a transition toward improved adoption of sustainable practices by individuals and companies. Both recognize the need to minimize environmental impact and take tangible steps to drive change.
Businesses are starting to plan for adopting energy-efficient technologies, while customers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. Still, sustainability is an exception rather than a norm. Businesses and individuals should navigate barriers like lack of awareness, high costs, and reduced interest to drive more change.
Sustainability shouldn’t just be a trend, but a steadfast commitment. Our actions today will echo in the form of a healthier planet tomorrow.
Sagar Joshi is a former content marketing specialist at G2 in India. He is an engineer with a keen interest in data analytics and cybersecurity. He writes about topics related to them. You can find him reading books, learning a new language, or playing pool in his free time.
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