Sustainability Trends:
a data-driven overview

By using the AI-powered Reply Sonar platform we created an overview and mapping of relevant trends related to sustainability, based on their occurrence within expert media articles, mass media, patents and scientific publications.

A pivot to sustainable business practices

With increased awareness from customers and stakeholders around climate change and environmental issues, businesses today are reaching a critical decision point: they must decide if and how to embrace sustainable business practices. In some industries, innovative leaders are already reinventing critical practices in hopes of achieving a better future; they may also discover that sustainable practices can have business value. In the end, it will be technological development that plays a crucial role in the transition, merging sustainability and digital transformation of businesses



The big eco-wakening of consumers is under way, translating into daily purchase actions, with an increasing number of consumers expecting to see eco-friendly, organic and sustainable product alternatives



The investment and financial sector is increasingly factoring in sustainability as an important metric for assessing risk due to unsustainable practices and as an indicator of long-term business health and resilience



Governments around the globe are aiming for long-term sustainability, secured by standards and legislation to adhere to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals and reach CO2 reduction goals

Top-of-mind sustainability trends

Across the hype cycle, we see that pressure for sustainable changes is moving beyond the topic of renewable energies and energy efficiency to include active decarbonization, resource depletion and biodiversity action. Most relevant topics fit into the categories of sustainability mindset, sustainable industries, and sustainable operations and technologies.

Sustainability mindset

Net Zero movement, Climate change adaptation, Biodiversity action, Circular and reuse economy, Zero waste & plastic alternatives, Environmental engineering, Carbon offsetting, capture, and removal.

Driven by regulations, investors, societal expectations and stakeholder activism, businesses are faced with a growing scope of responsibility, factoring in accountability that goes beyond profit and shareholders to include environmental and societal implications.

Sustainable operations & technologies

ESG tracing & reporting, Environmental sensing, Sustainable & transparent supply chain, Re- and near-shoring, AI in sustainability, Green cloud & data center, Green code & software.

Within this new era of sustainability and accountability, businesses are in continuous search of innovative solutions to be able to live up to their pledges. The new tech-efficiency paradigm is going beyond cost efficiencies, helping businesses to improve operations while leading to green growth. Sustainability and digital transformation are moving forward in tandem, exponentially balancing tech adoption with environmental impact. 

Sustainable industries

Green upstarts, ESG investments, E-mobility, Sustainable energy, Sustainable foods, Sustainable construction, Sustainable and regenerative agriculture.

Fundamental change is about to happen, in how value is generated by embracing a regenerative and adaptive mindset for business actions. Leading businesses and innovators in the field of sustainability are on the verge of transforming whole industries with new products, services, platforms as well as business models.

The Key Takeaways

Sustainability is evolving as a field for transformative business and industry growth, creating multiple win-win situations for businesses following the path of becoming nature positive. The pressure for change combined with incentive systems and the ability to leverage exponential technological evolution and a corresponding data economy allows for addressing environmental impact while also generating profit.

Dynamic game
changes on the agenda

Sustainability and green pressure is at an all time high, with stakeholders engaging in activities to push regulations and compliance, and benefit from this growing momentum and reality.

Sustainability =
long-term value & resilience

Holistic sustainability strategies and climate change adaption translate into long-term business resilience, outperforming competitors and generating value from green business opportunities.

Data & analytics
fuel ESG

A sound data strategy and an accurate data inflow, paired with AI & analytics, will unleash sustainability insights for real-time decision making, transparency & value generation potential.

Digital & virtual
tech transform
at scale

Digital transformation strategies will embrace sustainability, integrating smart technology innovations to transform business operations for sustainability at scale and reduce ESG impact.

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