With Many Industries Changing for the Purposes of Sustainability, Here are Some Making Slow, but Necessary, Changes for the Environment
Large corporations and organizations have the power to help mitigate the effects of climate change, and yet many of them have been slow to adopt more sustainable practices. Some of the biggest industries in the world provide products and services that are necessary — playing a significant role in just about everything that consumers buy, use, and throw away. And understandably, when the companies within these industries have grown accustomed to one way of doing things — the way that makes them the most money — it can be challenging to find they are being asked to take their business practices and processes in an entirely different direction.
Still, if anyone can make drastic sustainable changes, it’s large corporations because they have the money and the resources to do so. This is why consumers have less sympathy for certain companies, knowing that they have all the power to make a difference and yet are stalling and pushing back against environmentalism. As such, certain industries are finding that it is no longer an option for them to avoid making more sustainable changes.
If large corporations and businesses want to continue making money and meeting the demands of today’s consumers, they have to start adopting more eco-friendly practices. If they fail to do so, consumers will simply turn towards other brands and organizations that are making more sustainable changes, and the ones that aren’t will get left behind.
For years, most companies have centered their business around making money above all else. However, there has been a shift in the past few years in the ways companies are doing business, thanks to newer generations of consumers.
Today’s consumers are much more mindful about their purchase decisions as they seek to be more ethical, equitable, and sustainable in their practices. This means companies can no longer get away with traditional selling and marketing practices. Instead, they must adopt a more sustainable mindset if they want to appeal to their customers.
In a recent survey, 75% of millennial consumers said they think about sustainability when they are making a purchase. They believe that businesses, especially large corporations and industries, bear as much responsibility for making sustainable changes as government. This demand for more eco-friendly operations has influenced many businesses to adopt better practices, and show their commitment to protecting the environment.
Again, though there is a wave of more sustainable practices making their way through numerous industries, some have been more resigned than others to do their part. The following industries and organizations have a significant impact on the environment but have been slow to make the changes that are necessary to reverse their negative effects. Still, these changes are happening thanks to consumer demands, and the hope is that these industries will continue to improve their efforts and build a more sustainable future.
The burning of fossil fuels is one of the biggest issues impacting the environment, as it not only consumes the earth’s resources but emits high amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the automotive industry is responsible for a massive amount of carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
As such, consumers are demanding more sustainable changes through the creation of fully electric vehicles (EVs). There are many benefits to driving an EV, one of which is that it significantly reduces energy and fossil fuel consumption.
Additionally, some believe that high-tech vehicles like EVs will make cars cool and interesting again, which will influence even more people to buy and own them — and the more people that own electric vehicles, the more positive the impact will be on the environment.
There are many fashion brands that have jumped aboard the sustainability train, and still, this industry continues to produce significant amounts of waste and pollution. Fast fashion is a big part of the problem. Companies that produce fast fashion items use unethical and unsustainable resources, internal processes, and practices, and most clothes from fast fashion brands end up in landfills.
However, even brands that aren’t considered fast fashion are still consuming large amounts of resources, particularly water. Fashion brands, even sustainable ones, use large amounts of water on a global scale which is incredibly harmful to the environment and the people that have limited access to water.
It is estimated that the fashion industry currently uses around 93 billion cubic meters of water per year, and this amount is expected to double if companies don’t make more swift, effective, and sustainable changes. Luckily, there are many ways that fashion brands can reduce their usage of water and other resources; it’s simply a matter of adopting these practices more quickly before it is too late.
The healthcare industry brings in trillions of dollars every year and plays a huge role in the lives of everyone on the planet. Still, this trillion-dollar industry has been one of the slowest to adopt more sustainable changes even though large healthcare corporations have the power, money, and resources to do so.
Not only does this industry contribute to large amounts of carbon emissions from energy consumption, but medical waste is also a major concern. Many materials, items, and devices in the medical field are single-use only to avoid contamination, but this process of manufacturing and disposing of single-use items is incredibly damaging to the environment.
Researchers have been looking into ways around this issue, but efforts have been slow-moving. The problem is again that single-use items are necessary to avoid the spread of disease and infections. However, some experts believe there are ways to cut back on the use of resources in the healthcare industry, such as implementing better recycling programs, being more mindful of when and how single-use items are used, and using more energy-saving systems and devices.
Cities and municipalities aren’t quite an industry, but they are made up of organizations that are responsible for the infrastructure of a city and its communities. And these organizations have also been slow-moving in regards to adopting more sustainable practices. City and community managers do have the power to create more sustainable cities and communities, but making these kinds of changes to a city and its infrastructure can take time.
In many cases, major city projects require a vote before taxpayer dollars can be used to make the changes, which is why these changes are often slow to come about. Still, there are many ways that cities and municipalities can push for change without having to wait on a vote, and it’s necessary for these organizations to start making these changes to meet demands.
Some changes that are already occurring include: more energy-efficient public areas, community gardens, fuel-efficient or electric-powered public transportation, recycling stations, and more walkways and bicycle lanes to prioritize foot and bicycle traffic over vehicle use.
Final Thoughts on those Industries Changing for the Environment
Though large companies and industries like the ones listed above often face roadblocks due to bureaucracy, it is necessary for them to push for more sustainable changes and initiatives. These changes are not only a necessity for companies to continue meeting market demands and appealing to customers, but because it is what is right in order to ensure a greener and more sustainable future for generations to come. As large corporations are responsible for the majority of waste and pollution, they have a responsibility to step forward and clean up their messes and make more viable changes to mitigate further damage to the environment.
About the Author
Amanda Winstead is a writer focusing on many topics including technology and digital marketing. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.