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The Market of Sustainability: How Investments Can Pay Off

When we think about sustainability, we often only see how it costs us money. Whether that’s investing in renewable energy or paying a higher price for eco-friendly products, often a truly sustainable choice seems to come with a higher price tag.

However, recent data from the New Nature Economy Report states that there’s actually the potential for $6 trillion of business opportunities to come from sustainable efforts, in counterbalance to the $3 trillion worth of investments required.

How can businesses benefit?

These numbers are partially based on estimates from the UN that damage to ecosystems such as forests, green spaces, and coral reefs, plus the associated loss of biodiversity, will cost the global economy just under $10 trillion by 2050. It’s quite literally in the interest of big businesses long-term to do their part in the sustainable development of the future.

Even in the short-term, governments around the world are already making some strides into encouraging pro-environment policies. Grants and loans are often given to businesses and startups that employ measures to protect the environment or offset their environmental damage.

What does that mean for individuals?

Economic and social experts also estimate that these grants, loans, and investments will attract new funding and generate new programs, in turn creating more jobs and fuelling economic activity. 

For example, BNP Paribas Asset Management believes that there are already more than 1,000 companies globally that are focused on restoring ecosystems in water and on land. In order to do so, they’re employing more people – and their teams are growing fast.

What about companies not directly working on sustainability?

Of course, not every company has a green edge. But even for businesses not directly working on environmental practices, sustainability is driving innovation in a range of areas. Supply chains are getting smarter, efficiency is improving in a range of industries, and creativity is being driven by necessity.

Harvard Business Review recognised that many of the greatest technological and innovative advances in recent years have come about as a direct result of complying to sustainable policies or as an effort to stand out from the crowd of greenwashing businesses. That means that, for any business in the modern age, there are lessons to be learned and progress to be made from sustainable innovation.

To learn more from some key players who are already at the forefront of sustainable innovation, come along to Zero Waste Berlin Festival. We have consumers, individuals, and entrepreneurs from a range of different industries who are all approaching sustainability in a unique way. 

Tickets are currently available to buy here, so make sure you secure your space alongside like-minded professionals, entrepreneurs, and activists on September 17-19. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!


  • 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.