Effective planning is key to resource maximisation.
From nature restoration to social equity: 7 top ESG trends to look out for in 2023
From the ongoing energy crisis to refreshed global commitment to act on biodiversity, it is clear that corporate sustainability will evolve again in 2023. Here, edie rounds up seven key themes that could dominate discussions for the year ahead.
The last 12 months have delivered a tumultuous and seismic shift in how the world views sustainability and climate action. The momentum garnered at COP26 soon fizzled out as climate sceptics looked to push back on green regulation, while the energy crisis saw many switch lanes from the long-term net-zero trajectory, to short-term economic security. Supply chain disruption, skills shortages, disrupted investment and energy security were all cited by climate deniers as reasons to pause action.
That’s not to say that 2022 was a step back on the climate agenda overall. Big breakthroughs on adaptation and mitigation at COP27 in Egypt, coupled with a new global treaty on biodiversity agreed at COP15 in Montreal have further intertwined the ways that businesses can respond to societal and planetary needs through decarbonisation and natural restoration. Read more
UK Government confirms £32.9m boost for walking and cycling schemes
The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed the £32.9m scheme on Monday (2 January), timing the announcement with the New Year in recognition of the fact that many Brits will be making resolutions to walk or cycle more.
Councils will need to apply for a share of the funding and will need to clarify their plans for ‘capability’ improvements and improving infrastructure. The former refers to training and retaining local members of staff – including engineers, planners and facilitators – to develop and deliver schemes. Staff will be supported to plan, consult, deliver and communicate schemes.
“Developing teams that lead active travel programmes will create more cost-effective and well-targeted projects,” the DfT said in a statement.
Report: Technology could cut cost of SDG delivery by 40%
The cost of delivering the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has increased since the Covid-19 pandemic began – but could be slashed significantly by deploying digital technologies that already exist.
That is the headline conclusion of a new report from the Force for Good initiative, which convenes financial institutions to collaborate on the deployment of capital for sustainable development. Members of the initiative include BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group, among dozens of others.
The new report builds on an analysis conducted by the initiative last year into how the cost of delivering the SDGs had been pushed up by global shocks including the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. The cost of delivery was priced, through that analysis, at $176trn. Costs had increased in areas relating to poverty alleviation, ending hunger, improving education and healthcare, delivering peace and reducing migration.
In the face of these new and evolving challenges, the new report looks at how technologies could be deployed to reduce the costs of SDG delivery in a manner that also paves the way for more inclusive global economies.
It concludes that the SDG delivery cost could be reduced by up to 20% – $30trn – simply by deploying existing technologies that enhance connectivity, including Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. These solutions can contribute to all manner of technologies, from monitoring farms and forests for sustainable management, to creating smart cities and better early warning systems for extreme weather events.