Sustainability is extremely important in our current era, but why? In many cases, one must invest money and address and change deeply held principles in order to make sustainability central, both privately and in the business. It is therefore crucial to consider the reasons why sustainability is important. This way you know exactly what you are doing it for and you will be even more firmly behind sustainable actions.
Disastrous consequences of climate change
Over the past few decades, the impact of mankind on the earth has become increasingly tangible. The climate is changing and this is causing extreme weather conditions: Droughts, floods but also extreme storms are becoming the new normal. Animals are dying out on a massive scale and biodiversity is also decreasing.
All of these events appear to be largely dependent on the rise in global temperature. If everyone makes an active effort it is possible to keep the temperature within the 1.5 degree increase, but in 2019 we already ticked the 1.1 degree mark, so a lot of changes would have to happen right now.
In the Paris climate agreement, 2 degrees of warming is the maximum objective. This too has major implications that we are already noticing today. Extinction of animals and plants, saltier soils and warm winters will become more common in the Netherlands. But if the warming stays below two degrees the worst will be prevented.
If nothing is done, however, global temperatures will have increased by four degrees by the end of the 21st century. The consequences of this increase are extremely destructive and worrying. Sea levels will rise to unprecedented levels and floods will wipe out large areas. There will also be great food shortages and thus growing uncertainty for life. Extreme heat will end many lives in areas around the world. Scientists, of course, cannot predict the future. No one knows exactly what a four degree warming will entail, but the above scenarios are still positive. Scientist Kevin Anderson predicts that life on earth will no longer be so realistic and self-evident.
On to sustainability
So it is absolutely crucial that we take action and slow down and eventually stop the warming. At the national level, the Netherlands is working hard to create a greener and healthier planet. For example, together with other countries in the UN climate agreement in Paris, the Dutch government wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% compared to 1990. By 2050, this should be as high as 95%.
Dutch cities are also working on the sustainability of their city, read here about the plans of Utrecht regarding sustainable energy and sustainable transport.
However, countries can only achieve great successes if companies are also committed to a better future. This is because the professional sector creates large quantities of CO2 and is therefore partly responsible for climate change. It is therefore only logical to switch to sustainable business and thus help to achieve the climate plans.
Why sustainability is important for the future of your business
Sustainability is not only important for the future of the planet. Your company also benefits from a larger customer base and a positive outlook when it takes the environment into account. More and more people are opting for sustainability and this number will only continue to grow. Since there is not yet a sustainable variant of many companies, you can easily fill a gap in the market by making a traditional service or production cycle more sustainable. Or you can contribute to a more sustainable approach within your own work. Both municipalities and the government offer various subsidies to support companies in becoming more sustainable. The subsidies reduce the financial threshold to cleaner equipment and sustainable investments.
In the long run, sustainable business often saves money. This can be done through the construction of renewable energy sources, which are often subsidised and require less tax. It is also important to think ahead in terms of regulations and laws. It is expected that more and more regulations regarding sustainability will be set in motion by the government, and this will be met with hefty fines. Whether they like it or not, companies will therefore have to bend more and more in the direction of a sustainable existence. For example, starting in the summer of 2021, it is likely that the sale of disposable plastic, such as plastic plates, straws and food containers, will be banned. This therefore requires a switch to more sustainable alternatives. However, it is less stressful and much more sustainable to anticipate these kinds of regulations as much as possible and to choose for sustainability from within the company itself. After all, future-proofing and climate-friendliness ultimately go hand in hand.
Collaboration is crucial in making your business more sustainable. This way you can get inspiration from each other but also set goals and achieve them together. Read more about how collaborations can have a big impact here.
So, why is sustainability important?
Sustainability is crucial to achieving the goals, and you hear this fact more and more. Governments and municipalities also need green companies, which is why more and more regulations are being adjusted accordingly. Sustainability is therefore important for both the future of your company and that of the planet. And without a healthy planet, of course, a healthy business is not even possible. Read here here how to start a sustainable business in seven steps and get started right away!
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