The planet is undergoing an eco-revolution. Governments and businesses worldwide have pledged to slash their emissions.
Public attitudes have changed, and there’s more pressure than ever for companies to practice sustainability.
Carbon neutrality, which once seemed like an impossibility for many industries, now is almost inevitable.
Therefore there’s no escaping the need to ensure your enterprise is eco-friendly, and it’s something for all would-be entrepreneurs to keep in mind.
While many multinationals have promised to shrink their carbon footprint, they find themselves in a bind. Few corporations are built from the ground up with the environment in mind.
So here is the opportunity for new businesses to make use of this apparent advantage. If you start off on the right foot (or with the right footprint, as this is what being eco-friendly is all about), then environmental responsibility is a natural habit for your company to carry forward.
This article will highlight some business ideas that can help you both turn a profit and prepare for a greener future.
While not immediately apparent, drones are changing the conversation around sustainability in a big way.
In the words of technology entrepreneur Ewan Kirk…..
Climate change is undoubtedly the most significant issue facing us all, and as we get to grips with tackling this issue, I fundamentally believe the development and deployment of technology – including UAVs – has a critical role in our global response.
Drone Industry Insights predicts that the global market will reach $43 billion by 2024, up from $14.1 billion in 2018. UAVs make it easier to track and evaluate environmental degradation and the effects of natural disasters. They also provide the benefit of protecting endangered species from poachers via aerial surveillance. Likewise, the Amazon Basin Conservation Association uses drones in Peru to tackle illegal logging and industrial deforestation.
If you are a tech entrepreneur and consider developing UAVs for more general uses, you should think about how you can build your business more sustainably. Hardware and software specially designed for use in this field could prove to be very lucrative shortly.
A study by Dodge & Data Analytics found that about one-third of single-family home builders report that they are currently doing green home builds for more than 50% of projects. There is a clear appetite for sustainable construction, which is only going to grow.
According to the European Commission, the building sector produces one-third of all waste. This means that there is ample room for growth in sustainable construction. The businesses that get the jump on their competition will find themselves in good stead as government regulations clamp down on unsustainable building methods.
One example of sustainable construction is a modular building. This moves construction off-site, as most of the actual building is done in a factory. Likewise, materials built out of recycled plastics or otherwise unusable items can provide a means for companies to reduce the amount of waste they produce.
Sustainable buildings are not only better for the environment, but they’re also better for a business’ accounts too because they are more cost-efficient. Green buildings are cheaper to heat, use less water and are generally made of higher quality materials built to last.
While it may not strike you immediately as a ‘green business’, buying and selling second-hand goods is an ideal way to prevent them from ending up in the landfill. The second-hand clothing market, in particular, is thriving, with sales expected to reach $51 billion by 2023, up from $24 billion in 2019. Cécile Wickmann, the founder of second-hand clothing retailer Rebelle.com, said: “The image of second-hand fashion has changed… [It] is a great opportunity to express sustainability and individuality at the same time.”
The genius of starting a business selling second-hand goods is that you aren’t limited to just one type of item. All manner of products ends up in landfill, from consumer electronics to scrap metal. The piles of trash that people throw away could be the treasure in the hands of the right entrepreneur.
The age-old mantra of buy low, sell high is all you need to get started. The proliferation of the internet gives every entrepreneur access to a global network of consumers eager to buy their second-hand goods. This means more profit for you and less production of new products, as well as a reduction in the waste that goes into landfill when they eventually end up there.
As the world hurtles towards carbon neutrality, many businesses need to be shown how to improve their sustainability. Environmental consultants have extensive knowledge of government regulations, meaning they can do just that. They visit sites to assess their sustainability, working across both the public and private sector, conducting field surveys on the possible risks of contamination and pollution.
This role is becoming increasingly prevalent. Governments, in North America and Europe in particular, are gradually tightening the noose on offending companies. Between 2018 and 2019, the Environmental Consultancy industry in the UK grew by 6% and is now worth £1.7 billion, according to data from Environmental Analyst.
The industries listed in this article serve as inspiration for all budding entrepreneurs.
The green technology and sustainability market will grow from $8.7 billion in 2019 to $28.9 billion by 2024. Even if you are not directly involved, public attitudes have clearly changed. The rise of movements like Extinction Rebellion and the ongoing conversation around waste shows that. This is the prime time for entrepreneurs to enter a rapidly expanding sector.