Pandemic and the planet. Sustainable business development is on the rise, again

At the beginning of May, an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, indicating that the Covid-19 pandemic could result in a death of companies’ commitments to more sustainable development. Large business perturbations (not to mention health-related issues) associated with global lockdown were supposed to limit investment in more ethical and environmentally friendly solutions or even stop them altogether.Fortunately, this bleak scenario did not happen, and many organizations keep their previous commitments or even announce new ones. A few days ago, Unilever declared that a pandemic would not slow down the company’s fight for a better future and introduced further actions, including investing EUR 1 billion in the new Climate and Nature Fund, striving to achieve zero net emissions by 2039, reorganizing the supply chain by 2023 to limit deforestation. Starbucks, while reopening after lockdown, introduced vegan products to the menu; the result of cooperation with popular startups, that replace animal protein with plants’ – Beyond Meat (in China and Canada) and Impossible (in the US). A month ago, Zalando announced a new initiative – from 2023 all brands available on the platform will have to operate following the principles of sustainable development, as defined by Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Zalando is the first e-commerce platform to introduce such guidelines.

Environmental issues are important not only for global brands. On July 1, Onet, the largest Polish news platform, is launching the #NiechZyjePlaneta. Its aim: to encourage Poles to change their everyday habit. Returning to the sustainable development (creating new initiatives or communicating ongoing activities) has a chance to be well received by consumers. We all need good news this year.