How "One Planet Prosperity" Supports New Business Opportunities

Aug 21, 2019 2:00 PM ET
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Awareness of environmental and resource risks is growing. Over the last ten years, six or seven of the top-10 global risks identified each year by the World Economic Forum’s “Global Risks Report” have consistently dealt with resource or environmental threats. Step by step, we increasingly see this global understanding of risks translating into concrete business decisions. A poll of Schneider Electric’s customers in Europe revealed that 82% of them consider resource scarcity and sustainability as key elements in their decision-making processes. Yet the shift is not happening fast enough. 

Here is the case of why opportunities for change outweigh risks. 

Capture market shifts in favor of sustainable technologies and lifestyles

Major technology shifts are already a reality in some markets. According to IEA2 , in 2016, for the first time ever, the electricity sector became the largest recipient of energy investment, ahead of oil and gas. Granted, the path to market growth of low-CO2  technologies is not a stable and quiet one: falling unit capital costs of renewables, for instance, are reducing overall investment and margins in the renewable sector. Consumers’ shifting habits is another trend worth noting.

In many markets, sustainability-marketed products grow faster, with double digit-growth of organic or local offers in some food segments. Additionally, “sustainable” value propositions can also mean savings for consumers (car sharing, repair stores, bulk food, tool rental, etc), making those markets all the more resilient. Consumer Insights Manager at Pinterest reports “a rise in people searching for sustainable and eco-friendly ideas across areas like travel, food, parenting, and style.”An example from the US consumer packaged goods sector shows that sustainable-marketed products have represented 50% of the growth in the past
5 years, with only 16% of market share

Civil society’s pressure on infrastructure projects is also increasing. The “licence to operate” is increasingly conditioned to one-planet compatibility. In France in 2018, Notre-Dame des Landes airport project was finally abandoned after decades of planning and a long stand-off between protesters and government officials5. Not even to mention all student led initiatives, climate protests, brand boycott, or class actions.

Read the full report from Schneider Electric and Global Footprint Network to learn more about the business case for One Planet Prosperity.