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1030 Views | By Eyna | June 25, 2024
Exploring newly emerging circularity concepts in sustainable design Exploring newly emerging circularity concepts in sustainable design

Having become an imperative for majority of brands and businesses in the present times, sustainable design tends to be the key to mitigating the impact on climate and appeal to new-age conscious driven consumers. Triggering a massive change on various fronts, sustainability as an imperative remains to be the biggest priority for decision-makers and stakeholders alike. By incorporating sustainable strategies and specific methodologies including ensuring authentic communication, using intelligent technologies, developing new climate-specific vocabulary, addressing climate migration as a resource, as well as embracing alternative frameworks while amplifying trust among climate creators, businesses and brands can gain immense repute and credibility that further complements standing. 

Identified as the biggest risk in the short and long term by The World Economic Forum in its recently released “Global Risks Report 2024,” extreme weather continues to pose significant challenges to world businesses. 

Encompassing a series of sophisticated practices and strategies, sustainable design in the context of business and retail referring to the design and development of innovative products and establishment of green places holds immense potential and could help combat the problem of climate change. 

Making its way to the core business development and growth strategy, the concept seeks to balance economic prosperity with environmental and social responsibility. With climate change becoming a core part of the business agenda for most of the CxOs, the incorporation of new-age ethical and sustainable practices and frameworks has become the fundamental guiding principle for leaders across the board. 

While the focus on advanced design-thinking intensifies, the idea of integrating circularity into business frameworks and aligning strategies with consumer priorities provides a promising proposition for businesses to scale at length. 

As businesses that operate ethically and responsibly stands to gain significant trust and loyalty from conscious consumers, unwavering commitment to care for the environment helps foster strong positive perceptions in a big way. 

To keep executives and leaders abreast of the newly emerging concepts, and help redefine processes across verticals within their businesses, below are some of the core principles that could complement the formulation of sustainable design strategies.

Eliminating waste and pollution

Global investments in carbon removal capacity are expected to reach between US$100 billion and $400 billion by 2030. To achieve net zero by 2050, over $6 trillion in investment is required, with a minimum of $500 billion needed by 2030, yet so far investments stands at $13 billion. As intelligent technologies can help industries reduce global warming, significant investments in building efficient tech apparatus should be the norm. 

The leaders must assess how their businesses can cut pollution at the source by investing in carbon removal storage and utilization (CCUS) technologies. As scientists agree carbon removal technologies are crucial to addressing the problem of climate change, greater investment could help businesses move ahead in the right direction. 

To complement efforts, leaders must join forces with emergent biotech that can sequester organic carbon into safe, carbon-zero products, materials, pigments, and dyes. By integrating smart technology into supply chains, businesses can reduce their CO2 emissions effectively. 

Circulating products and materials

According to the proposed EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, deposit return programs for single-use plastic drink containers (up to 3ltrs) must be introduced by 2029, and all packaging by January 2030 must be made recyclable. Every ton of packaging produced or imported with less than 30% recycled plastic will be taxed by Plastic Packaging Tax (UK). 

By identifying what innovations, solutions and infrastructures can be leveraged to reduce plastic impact in business, could prove to be extremely promising. By using reusable or refillable packaging and replacing single-use virgin plastic with biodegradable alternatives, businesses can operate swiftly. Besides ensuring the use of environmentally friendly packaging, bio-recycling could enable regeneration of hard-to-recycle polymers to make sure plastic-based textiles are recyclable. 

From shelving to flooring, sustainable material helps businesses tackle the bigger challenge. Some of the ethical ways of making material selection involves cradle-to-cradle analysis, global warming potential, and ease of disassembly, production, and reuse. 

Regenerating nature

As sustainable design seeks to empower communities and enhance quality of life, through inclusion and ensuring accessibility to resources, businesses can create environments that advances social cohesion and well-being. Sustainable design with potential to improve health, helps close socioeconomic gaps, and strengthen communities. 

As per Oxfam, 43% of workers in developing nations are women, while two-thirds of working women in South Asia are engaged in agriculture, and majority of women are farmers in eastern Africa. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization suggests that women if provided adequate resources as men, could help produce 20 to 30 more food on same amount of land. This holds the potential of bringing 150 million people out of poverty and prevent emission of 2 billion tons of CO2 from current period to 2050. 

While failing to end world poverty, industrial agriculture and food systems controlled by men have significantly increased land degradation and CO2 emissions, gender equity in regenerative farming could improve worker health, food and water security, community resilience, and catastrophe mitigation quite strongly. 

To ensure heightened inclusivity and diversity, the leaders must explore programs and initiatives that promote women in leadership roles in agricultural supply chains. By promoting women’s leadership and help protect their land rights businesses could help address disparities, encourage inclusion, equity, and diversity. By identifying policies, initiatives and products for investment, businesses can support women’s equity and inclusion in agriculture.

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