Following on from the great response to our Sustainability Mindset webinar, there were several follow-up questions that were asked. In the interest of keeping the conversation open and ongoing, we’ve written some brief answers below to the questions that came in. Please get in touch if you’d like to ask more questions or help contribute to the answers.
Within our network, companies across Europe and the US that are actively recruiting sustainable-focus hires are struggling to find people. These are in high demand right now, suggesting many companies are already hiring talented experts in this space. In the future, such employees will become essential/central, the companies that recognise this sooner will be gaining an advantage.
It’s clear from our Sustainability Mindset study that there is a need in all organizations to hire people with a sustainability mindset, and not just leaders. Younger generations are being recognised as having an innate concern for sustainability challenges. Deloitte’s 2021 study highlighted Gen Z’s #1 greatest concerns centred on sustainability. Even in our research into the future of home fitness, 91% of Gen Z’s surveyed place high importance on a brand’s sustainability, more than any other demographic. All companies will benefit from having new employees that think in different ways, this will bring new solutions and innovations to the table.
If we’re thinking with the sustainability mindset, such a competitive approach is not serving us. It’s not healthy but it’s the consequences of the old mindset. The sustainability mindset implies that instead of competing, the companies are joining together in addressing the challenges. That should mean companies who get there first share some of their know-how, like how Logitech shared their approach to carbon footprint certification with their competitors. Or a company that follows an existing methodology celebrates it or shows how it improved upon the initial approach. It shouldn’t be about who got there first, but rather elevating & educating the industry. The media have a strong part to play in this, by not only celebrating those who come first, but also those who have the courage to build on what has already been accomplished.
This is a question we get asked (rightfully) very often by designers in our network looking to contribute and some clients as part of project briefs. The answer is not straightforward – it is not about specific materials as the question suggests, but about a specific process in order to identify the most sustainable materials for each application. Below are some of the key steps to consider when seeking the most sustainable materials. In a future article, we’ll also cover our design for sustainability (DfS) process that covers some of these steps in more detail.
Create awareness of the impact
Lessen the amount of materials ending up as waste – lost value and pollution.
Consider alternative materials
Think with the end in mind
Some Specific Cases
Over the coming months, we will continue to publish our thoughts and know-how in this space, including how to use Life Cycle Assessment as a design tool, details on our design for sustainability process, and sustainability strategies when designing complex product experiences. Feel free to get in touch directly or on LinkedIn and Instagram, where we’ll be sharing all of the above.