Picture of blue and white stripes on the left and red lines on the right

World in 2030 Theme 8: Environment & Sustainability

Is the world heading for a climate catastrophe by 2030? If so, what are we going to do about it? What commercial opportunities will open up for companies who are part of the solution? And how can they be taken in a way that’s sustainable, and delivers prosperity to communities and to the social fabric as well as to shareholders?

Watch this animated infographic for a glimpse of what the future might look like:

This World in 2030 section seeks to answer these questions, or at to least provide some new perspectives that can help business leaders navigate a path forward.

Geopolitics: enabling change?

First, though, consider the global, geopolitical context (which business leaders will be increasingly influenced by): in 2019 China invested $83bn in renewable energy. They are the biggest spender on renewable energy technology on the planet by a significant margin (the US was in second place on $56bn). By 2030, these numbers will almost certainly look miniscule, and China’s leadership may well have extended further. If Western countries want energy security and an ability to keep on using energy intensively, Western companies need to embrace renewables and find ways of reducing their impact on the planet’s other natural resources.

The impact of global heating and resource scarcity will be a lot more significant by 2030, too. Flooding, drought, famine and forced migration are all predicted by mainstream governmental bodies. This will have a huge tangible impact on customers, employees and supply chains.

In short, companies need to think and act now, to protect their own futures, as well as the planet’s.

It’s about social sustainability, too

The clue’s in the word: sustain-ability. Our social stability needs to be enduring as well as our environment. By 2030, many economists are predicting even greater levels of income inequality, debt and poverty than we see today, especially in more traditionally free market countries like the UK and the US. Is this sustainable? Does it create the buoyant, low risk markets businesses want to operate in? Does it support the development of employees business leaders want to be their workforces of the future? Make your own mind up on these questions – the insights and resources in this section provide different perspectives to consider and draw on.

Future changes

We’ve spoken with market experts and leading strategy consultants to gain a better view of how these trends might develop in practice, relating to environmental and social sustainability. What do they think the key challenges are? Where are investments needed? And why is social sustainability going to become even more important by 2030? Watch this video to find out.

Opportunities & actions

We’ve spoken with market experts and leading strategy consultants to gain a better view of how these trends might develop in practice. Hear their ideas for practical actions that could be taken in light of them in this short video:

Practical solutions

At a very practical level, what do organisations need to be doing right now to become part of the sustainability solution? David Watson is Head of Energy Transition at Cadent Gas, the UK’s largest gas distribution network. He’s heavily involved in the UK’s transition to hydrogen, and understands what’s required within companies to embrace and push through change:

What do you think is going to happen, though, between now and 2030? What will changes relating to the environment and sustainability mean for customers and companies? And what, practically, do you think business leaders should be focusing on to achieve genuinely sustainable growth?

We’d love you to join the conversation…

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