With today’s technological advancements, we already have the required solutions to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and prevent the worst repercussions. All we need now is to put those tools and breakthroughs into practice and focus on emission-reduction measures. The latter is also Seeders Capital’s main objective. With the solutions we offer, we hope to move towards a more liveable future. In this article, you will find three revolutionizing strategies that will help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Embrace Circular Economic Thinking
We need a major shift in mindsets to progress sustainability on a large scale. Education is the most efficient weapon to achieve this goal. Sustainability education should take place through multiple platforms. Despite the profession and field of specialization, ranging from law to engineering, people should internalize the advantages of the circular economy model. In one of our previous articles, we have already had an insightful analysis of this model. In short, in the outdated linear economy model, commodities are made, utilized, and disposed of. Whereas, in a circular economy, materials are used for the longest time possible.
A new “Global Circularity Metric” reveals the extent of harm our today’s linear economic thinking causes. According to this groundbreaking report, switching to a fully circular economy would lower the global use of natural resources by 28% and greenhouse gas emissions by 72%. These mind-blowing numbers echo one thing, a circular economy is the best way to accomplish the UN Sustainability Goals and the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Unfortunately, many companies still consider the linear economy model as a safe place to generate revenue. However, they should not overlook the economic and financial risks that climate change poses. For these exact reasons, companies and financial markets need high-quality information and audits on those risks and effects. To enhance and promote reporting of climate-related financial information, the Financial Stability Board established the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This is a truly impressive initiative that can be handy in these challenging times.
Impose Price Tags on Non-Recycled Plastic
One of the most effective methods to nudge people to improve their behavior is by making them pay for the mess they create. We have already discussed the concept of Pay as you throw (PAYT) or variable-rate pricing system. In the framework of this model, people pay for municipal waste collection depending on the amount they throw away. As we have mentioned previously, this is a very effective method to incentivize people to switch to more eco-friendly practices and lower the amount of their household waste.
In addition to this, the EU has implemented another approach in the form of a “plastic tax” or “levy”. The latter was adopted in 2020 and obliges the member states to pay 0.80 Euros p/k of any non-recycled plastic. However, it is worth noting that not all types of plastic are equal. To transition to a circular plastic and more eco-friendly economy, where the material is reused, people should focus on reducing the demand for virgin fossil raw materials.
One of the best go-to methods to accomplish the latter would be through expanding the usage of plastics made out of chemically recycled waste plastic or basic renewable resources like plant biomass. Therefore, it is important to differentiate between the types of plastic and exclude the sustainable ones from the aforementioned levy.
The UK can be yet another example to refer to while discussing the topic of “plastic levies” and taxes. In contrast to the EU Packaging Levy, the UK has established a Plastics Tax starting from April 2022, which penalizes the use of plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content. With this policy, the UK becomes the first country to impose a tax on virgin plastic packaging. Only packaging that has less than 30% recycled material is subject to the UK Plastic Tax of £200 per tonne.
Switch to Green Buildings
Lastly, another breakthrough that deserves a note is the concept of green and sustainable buildings. A ‘green’ building is one that, by its design, construction, or operation, reduces negative effects on climate and natural surroundings. Green buildings are one of the best sustainability-driven and eco-friendly initiatives that protect the environment while also generally improving our quality of life. Below you can find some of the characteristics and attributes that make a building “green”:
- Waste and pollution reduction
- Improved indoor air quality
- Use of materials sustainable materials
- Consideration of environmental footprint while designing, constructing, and operating
- Adaptable design
- Energy and water efficiency
As mentioned before, those are several features that make a building “green”. With Seeders Capital’s expertise, this becomes even easier and more effective.
However, while discussing the topic of green and sustainable buildings, it is hard not to mention The Health and Wellbeing Framework of the World Green Building Council. The Framework is entrenched in the UN Sustainable Development goals and provides a well-rounded comprehensive guide for creating a healthy environment.
The Framework, which brings together specialists in the built environment, health, and human rights, provides a cross-sectoral analysis regarding the entire building and construction. So, this is a truly brilliant and very useful piece, which is worth your time and curiosity.
In this article, we have discussed 3 of the most important sustainability breakthroughs which should be embraced by both private and public sectors. In Seeders, we believe that sustainability and environmental protection changes are investments that directly affect both our present and future.