The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals have been set back by Covid-19, global conflicts and the effects of climate change. In the latest Sustainable Development Goals Report, the Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, painted a gloomy picture. “Increased heatwaves, droughts and floods are affecting billions of people worldwide, contributing further to poverty, hunger and instability. The Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have further delayed the urgently needed transition to greener economies. Based on current national commitments, global greenhouse gas emissions are set to increase by almost 14 per cent over the current decade.” He concluded, “To recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and deliver global sustainability, we need an urgent rescue effort for the SDGs.”
While the global problem of sustainability needs to be addressed at government level, everyone can do their part. Companies have realised the advantages of setting robust sustainability goals as they help reduce their carbon footprint at the same time as increasing customer loyalty. When it comes to consumer products, sustainable packaging has attracted a huge amount of attention. A combination of consumer demand and the desire to do the right thing has led to many manufacturers adjusting their packaging policies - whether that’s committing to using less packaging, 100% recyclable packaging (or increasing the recyclable content of current packaging), or compostable packaging which neatly sidesteps the issue of the type of packaging that local councils are willing to recycle.
Recent research undertaken by Deloitte found that, in 2022, consumers are adopting a more sustainable lifestyle compared with 2021, choosing to buy from brands that have ethical or environmentally sustainable practices and values, at the same time as not buying from brands because of concerns about sustainability practices or ethical values. The research found that 38% of consumers are already willing to pay extra for more sustainable or durable products - in fact durability is more important to them than recyclability.
According to the 2020 Consumer Culture Report, 71% of consumers say they prefer buying from brands that align with their values, and YouGov research shows that 57% are willing to pay more for products that are good for the environment.
If you are setting sustainability goals for your business, take inspiration from the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We’re not advocating adopting all 17 goals, but it’s a good idea to focus on the ones that are appropriate to your business. As an example, Castle Water is supporting Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Even in the UK, water stress has become a fact of life. Yes, there has been a lot of rain since the summer heatwave, but according to the Met Office, we’ll need record-breaking amounts of rain in parts of the UK to even reach average figures. Any measures you take to help your business save water will also save money on bills. Taking steps to save water is also essential for the environment, with serious water shortages being predicted even for the UK in the near future if no action is taken now.
The good news is that water-saving measures don’t need to cost a great deal and will provide you with a quick return on your investment. Measures could be as simple as fitting tap aerators which slow down the stream of water without reducing the pressure. This means you’ll be using less water and your staff won’t even notice a difference.
By understanding the way your business uses water, you’ll be well placed to identify ways of making savings and efficiencies. To discover more ways of saving money on your water bill, download our free Water Efficiency Guide. You can view more about our services such as business water services or wastewater management services.
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