Sep 21, 2021

Sustainability’s Many Paths to a Greener Future


As sustainability vaults further into the spotlight, it is being obscured by divergent definitions and general ambiguity. How can brands see through the smoke to find their next move?


These days, discussions about sustainability are virtually inescapable.
And with an endless stream of interpretations, definitions, and recommendations swirling, it’s become particularly challenging to sort through the mess to uncover meaningful concrete solutions. Last week, we hosted a webinar elucidating just what sustainability really means in today’s (and tomorrow’s) landscape.

Now you can dive even deeper by [reading the full report](, filled with content we couldn’t show you in the webinar!

Making sense of a topic as convoluted as Sustainability offers some tough challenges, especially when the conversation is constantly evolving. To help make some sense of the madness, we combed through all the minutiae to uncover an underlying structure in today’s sustainability discussion. In viewing the issues through Economic, Social, and Environmental lenses, the myriad topics and movements under the sustainability umbrella fall into 3 holistic pillars capable of comprehending the ebbs, flows, and shifts that shape the conception of sustainability.

The many elements of Sustainability can be viewed through 3 lenses: Social, Environmental, and Economic

However, perhaps more important than understanding what defines sustainability today is understanding where it’s going tomorrow and how that path will influence brand strategies in the near future. As sustainability becomes more and more of a necessity to brands over the coming years, it will be critical to not only grasp the many nuances of its definitions, but also to find avenues for meaningful integration across the development process. Indeed, every link of the value chain will soon need to address sustainability in an authentic way in order for brands to ingratiate themselves with a swell of ecoconscious consumers.

There are clear signs that each one of these links is being guided towards a greener iteration right now. Individual Macrotrends that speak to the specific thought processes and activities inherent to the Research & Development, Design & Production, Marketing & Communication, and Customer Experience & Aftercare phases are budding and guiding brands to innovative ways of weaving sustainability across their image.

Each element of the value chain presents a unique opportunity to weave sustainability into brand practices

Look no further than the correlation between innovative R&D practices and the Tech-enabled Resilience Macrotrend (one of those identified in our report), which encompasses the ecologically-focused technologies and methods pushing brands to the cutting edge. Taking it a step deeper, one of the Microtrends making noise in this context is carbon capture technology. From novel processes to its numerous market applications, we’re already seeing ample evidence of this technological advancement spurring lasting change across industries.

Just consider the recent partnership between globalBeauty goliath Cotyand biotech pioneersLanzaTech. Announced this spring, Coty, the world’s largest fragrance company, pledged to produce the majority of its fragrances using ethanol from LanzaTech's carbon-capture process by 2023. Already used to facilitate production of everything from jet fuel to cleaning products, the versatility of LanzaTech’s sustainably sourced ethanol suggests boundless opportunity for this state-of-the-art technology in tomorrow’s marketplace.

LanzaTech's carbon capture technology produces ethanol that will be used in Coty's fragrance production (Source: LanzaTech)

This is just one small aspect of the multifaceted exploration into sustainability and its manifestations you’ll find from us.

To see the whole picture, rewatch the webinar or, for an even more detailed dive into the topic, download the full report now. As sustainability continues to move into the spotlight, brands are running out of time to find their way to a greener future… let us help illuminate your path!

Dive Into The Full Report

Bringing our own brand of clarity & insight to this challenge, you’ll discover the trends shaping sustainability in even starker detail and how brands must respond in order to keep up with a greener future.

Download now

Trend lines, data, and information described in this article emerge from the ongoing analysis performed by Nextatlas on its global observation pool made of innovators, early adopters, industry insiders expressing their views on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.

To learn more about our AI, discover Nextatlas Methodology here

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