GTN Sustainability Directory 2021 - Garden Trade News, UK

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The New Environmentalist

By Phil Pond of consumer and design trend analysts Scarlet Opus The ‘Sustainability Trend’ really isn’t a trend and those that do should stop referring to it as such. Following the events of 2020 it’s crucial that some time is spent by everyone focusing on the new-significance of sustainability, the environment and climate change. It’s also crunch-time for all businesses to get real about their part in finding and implementing a solution. The global pandemic has fast-forwarded this movement by five years … as businesspeople we are far behind ourselves as consumers. The new environmentalists are young, they are influencing their friends, parents, relatives; they are pushing and questioning why… yes but why…why? These are tomorrow’s consumers keen to influence

today’s shopper. It’s easy to dismiss them as too young and fall into the trap of thinking they don’t understand. This new, young environmentalist is very well read, very well informed and more knowledgeable on the subject than many of us that are “confident we know more or best”. Sustainability is not a ‘trend’, it is a whole new way of life. It will come at a cost, but one that must be born and not used as an (in their view) unacceptable excuse. As trend forecasters, we (Scarlet Opus) believe that it’s our ethical resp ponsibility y to share the research & knowledge on the subject. To help people in business make the right decisions an nd nd do the right thing; which are essential elements in Future-Proofing their company. In general ‘Consumers’ are sceptical about the good intentions of business when it comes to the environment and sustainability. The events of 2020 have fastforwarded their expectations by about five years; ‘do no harm’ is th heir heir new expectation of busiiness. In h hiis lastt few months of office, the ex-Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said: “Firms ignoring the climate crisis will go bankrupt” he went on to explain that the world’s

This is not a trend

• Designers and artists explore ‘Ecological Grief’ associated with changes in the landscape and irreversible environmental damage • Citizens reflect on their own ecological responsibilities • A focus on cleaner, less harmful, healthier, more efficient processes, materials and products

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Investtors wantt hi high h retturns and d th thatt th they are influenced ‘popular opinion’ on cultural issues in order that they can minimize their risk when selecting a business in which to invest. He stated: “Companies and industries that are not moving towards zero carbon emissions will be punished by investors and go bankrupt. The global transition needed to tackle the climate crisis could result in an abrupt financial collapse.” Across all sectors consumers are asking more questions about the ethics, values & activities behind the products & services they are considering purchasing. Sustainable Design is not a trend, it’s becoming a new way of life in order for the Human Race to survive. Ecological Grief is a term you’ll start