Closing the Loop

silhouette of flying birds

A major tenant of sustainability is the concept of a closed loop system; it is integral to the circular economy. This involves reducing a need for new inputs by reusing the same materials again and again and ideally, reusing the waste we create. Ultimately, sustainability is about becoming more resourceful and sustaining the resources we have. Resourcefulness has been a major theme of 2020: how can we make the most use out of what we have? Closing the loop is important to consider as we develop innovative solutions for the supply chains of clothing, food distribution networks, energy grids, transportation systems, and more. 

This past year has presented many challenges; as a result, innovation has been an identifiable outcome of the worldwide pandemic and shutdown. Going Green had the opportunity to sit down with a number of businesses all working towards a sustainable future and identified positive trends. Renewable energy is continuing to climb, outpacing fossil fuels, and the developments we are seeing in the space of sustainability and green innovation are climbing upwards. More and more start-ups are emerging in biomimicry, sustainable agriculture, and smart cities, which all contribute to the idea of a circular economy.

2021 will undoubtedly be a year of progress and positive change. 

Under the pressures of a worldwide pandemic, society has been forced to adapt and adopt technology in order to progress. With the restrictions of a global lockdown, governments, businesses, and individuals have had time to reflect upon how they might develop more sustainably moving forward. We have heard a lot of ideas like the ‘Great Reset’, which is a revolutionary recognition of our deficits.

Across the world, we are seeing businesses taking the pledge to reduce impact and invest in solutions that will close the loop on their impact. A recent announcement from United Airlines pledged Carbon Neutrality by 2050 . They will do it by increasing their adoption of sustainable fuel and investing in Direct Air Capture Technology. United is closing the loop by equalizing the inputs and outputs of air travel and is making a huge step in decarbonization. Despite the airline industry being heavily impacted during 2020, United jumped on the opportunity to dive into research and development! This pledge is a model representation of finding opportunity in a year that was nearly disastrous for business and making a positive twist to create a cleaner future. 

As we enter into a new year, hopefully we can use the time spent in lockdown to reassess our values, reconstruct our priorities, and reconsider what we want to invest in.

Going Green, hosted by Dylan Welch, interviews leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate on the Going Green podcast. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts. If you are interested in being featured on Going Green, click HERE.

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