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Business Innovation

Four Ways Businesses Can Innovate Sustainably After the Pandemic

The world is opening back up. In Germany, people who are vaccinated or otherwise immune will soon be able to meet one another and access public services more freely. Of course, everyone is keen to get back to life as normal – but are there some things that we should leave in the pre-Covid world?

When it comes to making our cities greener, now is the time to act. As urban life picks up again, we should be thinking proactively about what we can do now to change things for the better.

Shop Less and Shop Local

A huge step that many of us took in Covid was to start buying less and buy smarter. Accenture found that one in three consumers ranked sustainability in their top three criteria when deciding what to buy. People around the world are now more likely to buy locally, reducing the carbon footprint of their products.

With this shift in consumer outlook, it’s more likely than ever that we can get these habits to stick. Instead of launching back into our old shaping habits, let’s think carefully about which ones will actually do more good for both us and the planet.

Sustainable Shopping

Make the Most of the Pause

Supply chains around the world have been forced to stop and re-evaluate due to the pandemic. Many have shifted the way they work to use more agile systems. Now is the time to push them to make sustainable changes before they shift back to more long-term thinking again.

Having more agile, dynamic supply chains not only means that less energy and waste produce is created, it also makes them more efficient. With so many companies forced to cut costs during Covid-19, perhaps some of their waste-reducing methods can also stay on after the pandemic and become part of the everyday.

Supply Chains

Digitisation, Digitisation, Digitisation

Everything went digital during the pandemic, giving us access to more information about supply chains, how things get delivered, and how much waste businesses produce. Companies were forced to update their systems and modernise just to keep up during the pandemic. Now is the time for businesses to put that extra data to work, not just to stay afloat during unprecedented times, but to thrive in a sustainable future.

Indeed, Gartner found that 51% of supply chain professionals expect their focus on circular economy strategies to increase over the next two years. Once again, this is another prime opportunity for innovation.


Re-Entering the World

People are getting ready to go back out into the world, vaccinated and keen to live normally once more. Introducing new ways of doing things at this point will likely be taken on board a lot easier than in a few months time.

For businesses, this is the perfect time to switch up how you do things as you welcome customers back. That might mean finally making the switch to sustainable materials in a store, or introducing a new system to reduce waste. Whatever it is, now is the time to bring it to your customers, when they’re ready to welcome in new ways of doing things.

Post Covid

For individuals, you can use the same process on yourself. Have you been meaning to start cycling more, but never got round to it? Do you want to start using a reusable coffee cup, but always forget? Starting fresh and breaking free from lockdown is the ideal time to start building new habits for yourself. 

Whether you’re bringing innovation to a business, organisation, or simply your own life, the entire world is simultaneously hitting refresh right now. Make the most of the opportunity and seize the moment to innovate.

Interested to learn more about sustainable innovation for your business? Get tickets to our Zero Waste Festival and hear from the experts on circular economy solutions.


  • Rachael Davies

    Rachael Davies is a freelance writer and journalist based in Edinburgh, with work in National Geographic, Huffington Post, and TechRadar. You can find her on Twitter @rachdaviesetc or via her website.