10 ideas to undertake in sustainable sectors

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Sustainable entrepreneurship

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Continuing with the publications that we carry out from the Entrepreneurship Research group of the Innova Institute de La Salle-URL, this week we have been working to discover areas related to sustainability, in which there are possibilities of successful entrepreneurship. We have addressed this issue because we think that after the Covid-19 (what is already called the PostCovid-19) sustainability will be a much more considered feature in business models than it has been until now.

The areas in which we think there are opportunities are the following:

1. Agriculture and food industry: The world hiatus caused by Covid-19 is supplying a small truce that is allowing a regeneration of the planet. Environmental awareness has grown, consumption of resources is more responsible, there has been a notable improvement in environmental quality, and people have realized that protecting the environment contributes to a healthier and more balanced life.

2. Sustainable urban mobility: The high concentration of people in the means of transport and its improvable health conditions have made urban mobility one of the main sources of infection, increasing the risk of contracting the virus by between 4% and 6%. Consequently, the authorities and administrations of many countries have been forced to minimize its use and consider developing sustainable ventures in this sector.

3. The circular economy: The European Commission has just published the Action Plan for the Circular Economy. Proposed policies include increased product durability, the right to repair electronic devices, reduced use of plastics, and more accurate eco-labeling, among others. Following this path, the Innova Institute predicts that undertaking on issues related to the circular economy is a good opportunity for the PostCovid-19 scenario.

4. Integrated and efficient water management: Water scarcity already affects globally. What was once a problem for developing countries is now also a problem for developed countries. Water is not an infinite resource, but it is used as if it were. For this reason, the need for a comprehensive water treatment has been evident throughout its generation, use and recovery cycle. Despite everything, in 2030 there will still be 60% of the countries in the world that will not carry out this necessary comprehensive treatment system.

5. Logistics and supply chain: The companies that have provided a fast, safe and reliable service during Covid-19, and are also committed to sustainability, are those that will be strengthened after the pandemic and will generate confidence in customers in the PostCovid-19 era. These companies focus on innovation and quality, acting locally, but under collaborative logistics management models with other companies in the network. Thus, they meet the needs of small batches, with fast service and ensuring quality and traceability in the process.

6. Fashion, the second most polluting industry: The coronavirus has caused a huge general stoppage in the fashion industry, either due to the closure of stores or factories to protect their workers, by voluntarily turning to the production of garments for medical use or because its production depended mainly on China or Italy. Fashion, which produces more than 10% of the total CO² emissions on the planet, is the second industry that consumes the most water. Plastics have replaced natural fibers and polyester is used in 60% of production, generating two to three times more carbon than cotton without degrading in the ocean. Greenpeace indicates that the washing of garments throws the equivalent of 50 billion microfiber fragments into the sea.

7. Replacing oil derivatives: The Ellena MacArthur Foundation points out in a study that 40% of plastic packaging ends up in landfills, a third in the ocean and only 14% is recycled. This draws a critical scenario. Therefore, the search for replacement of biopolymers and the implementation of 100% functional strategies for recycling is a necessity for the industry. The startup Oimo, located in La Salle Technova, the La Salle-URL innovation park, is dedicated to the design of new ecological materials in Spain and the United Kingdom. With the aim of reducing the 14 million tons of plastic that ends up in the ocean, it has developed a water-soluble material as an alternative to plastic packaging. In this sense, the Innova Institute considers that sustainable entrepreneurship in alternative packaging to plastic will be reinforced in PostCovid-19.

8. Energy efficiency: The Covid-19 crisis has revealed that transformative changes are possible overnight. In terms of energy, it is demonstrated that there is no reason not to phase out fossil fuels and deploy renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. It is in line with this concept that the European Union has developed a series of proposals to lead the economy towards energy savings.

9. Telecommunications technology: During the confinement of the Covid-19, the traffic on online platforms that allow the organization of meetings, the development of virtual classes and the establishment of communications and conversations has increased considerably. Some of them were already known —such as Zoom, Hangout and Whereby— and others have taken the opportunity to make themselves known or to implement complementary services.

10. The built space: The Covid-19 has promoted the development of teleworking, but it has also shown that this option has minimum conditions for its development. Previous experience makes it possible to recognize the collaborative economy models associated with these proposals such as shared offices, shared garages and coworking spaces. The strength of these movements has led communication companies such as ETB, Movistar and Mapfre Seguros to present their users with coworking spaces. However, minimum conditions must be ensured to optimize results, both the separation of environments between family and work, facilitating innovation when interacting with companies in the same sector, knowledge transfer or generating alliances and complements when spaces are given. with companies from different sectors.

The original article with all the sections well explained you can read it here: The Innova Institute analyzes how sustainable entrepreneurship could be for the PostCovid-19 era

I hope this information is helpful to you and allows you to reflect on the need for sustainability in future ventures.

Keep in touch.

Montse.

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