GITNUX MARKETDATA REPORT 2024

Sustainability Statistics: Market Report & Data

Highlights: The Most Important Sustainability Statistics

  • Globally, 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods.
  • 88% of business school students think that learning about social and environmental business is a priority.
  • Companies that prioritized sustainability managed to outperform their peers during the financial crisis.
  • The world consumes 1.7 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate.
  • About 17% of the food produced globally is wasted.
  • 41.8% of the energy consumed comes from oil and gas.
  • Fossil fuel subsidies were $319 billion in 2017, representing 6.5% of global GDP.
  • Global renewable energy investment increased to $282.2 billion in 2019.
  • 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled.
  • 93% of CEOs believe that sustainability will be important to the future success of their companies.
  • Green buildings can reduce energy use by 50% and water use by 40%.
  • More than 470 companies globally have made 1,000+ commitments to climate action.
  • More than 2.8 billion people live in areas of water scarcity.
  • Only 3% of the world's water is fresh water.
  • More than 180 countries have renewable energy targets in place.
  • Data centers are expected to have the same carbon footprint as the aviation industry by 2020.
  • Sustainable investments reached $30.7 trillion in 2018.
  • A 10% increase in energy efficiency reduces energy costs by 2.2%.

Table of Contents

Sustainability is an integral factor in preserving our planet’s future, increasingly considered critical for businesses, governments, and individuals worldwide. Yet, understanding its true scope may be challenging without some concrete values to refer to. This is where Sustainability Statistics steps in, providing quantifiable measures to gauge our progress towards a sustainable world. Unpacking complex environmental, economic, and social data, our blog will delve into the fascinating world of sustainability statistics. We aim to explore trends, challenges, breakthroughs, and insights, converting dense data into comprehensible knowledge that fosters a sustainable future.

The Latest Sustainability Statistics Unveiled

Globally, 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods.

In the discourse on sustainability, the potent statistic that globally, 66% of consumers would dig deeper into their pockets for sustainable goods suggests a powerful trend – a transformative shift in consumer behavior. This underlines the profound interconnectedness of our global economy and environmental consciousness. Not only does this manifest a heightened awareness of sustainability, it also suggests consumers’ active role in combatting climate change. Thus, such readiness to back sustainable products financially puts pressure on companies to evolve their production methods towards greener alternatives, propelling the entire sustainability movement forward. In doing so, it paints an optimistic picture for the future where sustainability and profitability coexist harmoniously.

88% of business school students think that learning about social and environmental business is a priority.

In the realm of sustainability advancements, the appetite for environmental learning among future business leaders provides a beacon of hope. The statistic, ‘88% of business school students prioritizing social and environmental business education,’ traces a promising trajectory for corporate sustainability. It underscores a major shift in the mindset of tomorrow’s decision-makers, indicating their readiness to weave sustainability into the fabric of businesses, thereby fostering an environment of ethical responsibility. This suggests that companies aiming to survive in a future business landscape will need to align their strategies with sustainability principles, as the leaders of tomorrow are eager to marry profit with purpose.

Companies that prioritized sustainability managed to outperform their peers during the financial crisis.

Emphasizing the power of sustainability in business performance, this intriguing statistic provides a tangible relation between sustainable practices and financial resilience. In the turbulent waters of a financial crisis, companies committed to sustainability not only survived but outpaced their competitors, revealing sustainability as an underexplored avenue for economic endurance. This statistic lends valuable credibility to the blog post’s intention of highlighting sustainability statistics by showcasing a compelling correlation of corporate environmental responsibility with economic profit resilience, thereby asserting the tactical advantage in prioritizing sustainability.

The world consumes 1.7 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate.

Painting a compelling picture of global urgency, the statistic that the world consumes 1.7 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate, underscores the imperativeness of sustainability practices. A staggering tattoo on the wrist of humanity, it reflects the alarming rate at which we are depleting our planet’s resources, outpacing nature’s restorative capacity. In the light of a blog post about Sustainability Statistics, this translates to an urgent call-to-action for businesses, individuals, and policy makers alike to tread lightly, consume responsibly and adopt sustainable practices urgently, to restore the precarious balance on our home planet.

About 17% of the food produced globally is wasted.

Peeling back the layers of our global food industry unveils a rather distraught picture; a staggering 17% of the food produced globally has a bitter aftertaste of wastage. When nestled into the context of sustainability statistics, this unpalatable percentage highlights a crucial contradiction between our pursuit for survival and sustainability. It punctuates not only the inefficiencies within our food systems but also underscores the urgent need to rethink and revise our consumption patterns and waste management strategies. As we strive forward, every morsel contributes to achieving a sustainable world; thus, highlighting the crucial role of minimizing food wastage in our collective endeavor to attain global sustainability.

41.8% of the energy consumed comes from oil and gas.

Delving into the crux of sustainability statistics, one comes across the noteworthy figure of 41.8% – the proportion of global energy consumption fuelled by oil and gas. A striking testament to the entrenched reliance of humanity upon nonrenewable resources, this figure underscores the daunting challenge we face as we endeavor to transition towards a sustainable future. It highlights the scale of transformation required in our energy practices to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. The insight rendered by this statistic serves to both illuminate the critical role of green energy solutions, and to galvanize collective efforts in accelerating the adoption of sustainable energy measures. It is a poignant reminder of how far we have yet to travel on the road to environmental stewardship.

Fossil fuel subsidies were $319 billion in 2017, representing 6.5% of global GDP.

With an egoistically large figure of $319 billion in 2017, fossil fuel subsidies startlingly made up 6.5% of global GDP, creating a significant impact on sustainability efforts around the world. These subsidies often act as a stumbling block to the scaling up of renewable energy, twisting market dynamics and hindering the global push to limit catastrophic temperature rises. This number emphasizes not only the hefty price society is still willing to pay for fossil fuels but also underscores the magnitude of financial transition required towards cleaner and sustainable energy alternatives. It brings to light the stark economic reality that needs to be more adequately addressed for achieving global sustainability goals.

Global renewable energy investment increased to $282.2 billion in 2019.

Highlighting the surge to $282.2 billion in global renewable energy investment in 2019 offers a glowing beacon of hope in the arduous journey towards sustainability. This figure not only exemplifies the world’s growing recognition of the importance of sustainable energy, but also bolsters the undeniable reality that embracing renewable energy sources is an economically viable strategy. It signals a promising shift from tradition-bound, non-renewable resources animating the possibility of a greener, more sustainable future. Deciphering this statistic helps unravel the wider narrative of our planet’s pivot towards sustainability, genuinely painting a picture of progress in numbers.

91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled.

Diving into the alarming reality of sustainability, the statistic that 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled needs our undivided attention. It’s a stark reminder of the enormous challenge we face in our pursuit of an environmentally secured future. While we navigate the complex path towards greater sustainability, this figure exposes the glaring lacuna in our efforts, calling for intensified focus on plastic waste recycling. As if a rallying cry, it commands individuals, industries, and governments to re-evaluate and recalibrate their waste management strategies, thus underscoring the critical role of responsible consumption and proper waste handling in propelling us towards a more sustainable planet.

93% of CEOs believe that sustainability will be important to the future success of their companies.

In a blog post revolving around Sustainability Statistics, the fact that 93% of CEOs predict sustainability to significantly affect their companies’ prosperity is pivotal. This monumental majority sheds light on the indispensable role of sustainability in guiding future corporate strategies and ambitions. Significantly, it underscores a growing awareness among business leaders towards the undeniably expanding relevance of sustainable measures as a key indicator of future success, magnifying the urgency to commit to environmentally-conscious policies and also highlighting the necessity of data-centered insights on sustainability for strategic planning in today’s competitive business landscape.

Green buildings can reduce energy use by 50% and water use by 40%.

Diving right into the heart of sustainability, the statistic that delineates a 50% reduction in energy use and a 40% drop in water consumption in green buildings reaches an impressive echo. It radically mirrors the immense potential green infrastructures have in mitigating detrimental human impact on our ecosystem. Far from being just mere numbers, this statistic emerges as a rallying cry underscoring tangible solutions to our mounting environmental crises. Stemming from these figures is the future repercussions of adopting sustainable practices on a global scale—innovation shaping forward-thinking cities, reduced expenditure on energy, and the conservation of essential resources—all of which highlights the overarching narrative of a sustainable future written in green.

More than 470 companies globally have made 1,000+ commitments to climate action.

Illuminating the forefront of corporate responsibility, the statistic that highlights over 470 global companies making a robust pledge of 1,000+ commitments to climate action, weaves an inspiring narrative in our blog post about Sustainability Statistics. This figure not only signifies a substantial surge in global corporate resolve towards sustainability actions, but also underscores the expanding recognition of the vital role businesses play in stemming the climate crisis. It provides compelling evidence of the growing synergy between profit motive and planet preservation, thus amplifying the magnitude of the sustainability movement in the business world.

More than 2.8 billion people live in areas of water scarcity.

Highlighting the statistic that over 2.8 billion people contend with the harsh realities of water scarcity serves as a stark reminder of the magnitude and immediacy of the sustainability challenges humanity faces. With an increasing global population and climate change’s mounting impacts, water scarcity is becoming an alarming concern, threatening both human health and prosperity while simultaneously exacerbating social inequalities. Therefore, these numbers are not just statistics, they are an urgent call to prioritize effective water management and conservation efforts in the sustainability discourse, thus illuminating the intricacy and interdependence of environmental, economic, and social sustainability.

Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water.

Diving into the charming yet alarming realm of sustainability statistics, it’s truly sobering to discover that a miniscule 3% of the world’s water is indeed fresh water. This is not just a fact, it’s a wake-up call, underscoring the increasingly pressing need for sustainable approaches to water usage. In a world teeming with approximately 7.8 billion people, this paltry percentage of potable water serves as a stark reminder highlighting the urgency of innovative water conservation efforts. This fact emphasizes that sustainability is not just a futuristic concept but a present-day necessity, as our very existence hinges upon securing this precious resource for future generations.

More than 180 countries have renewable energy targets in place.

A centerpiece in the discourse on environmental sustainability is captured by the impressive statistic confirming over 180 nations adopting goals for renewable energy. This invocation of commitment from a significant mass of the global community not only underscores the understanding of renewable energy as a formidable solution to reduce harmful emissions but also as a key driver for economic growth and energy security. The statistic cradles a tangible and optimistic narrative about the world’s responsive trajectory to sustainability, a central premise of our blog post on Sustainability Statistics. It’s a beacon showcasing the expansive, cross-border recognition of renewable resources in shaping a sustainable future, essentially underscoring the universality and urgency of the topic.

Data centers are expected to have the same carbon footprint as the aviation industry by 2020.

With a surge in digital revolution, the carbon footprint of data centers is predicted to match that of the aviation industry by 2020, painting a daunting reality of sustainability. This quantifiable anticipated equivalence underscores the urgency of green initiatives in the realm of technology, paralleling the well-known environmental challenges faced by air travel. In essence, it’s not just the usual suspects that contribute to environmental degradation, but also the invisible behemoths of technology. Thus, technology’s environmental debt is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore, serving as a key talking point in the discourse of sustainability statistics.

Sustainable investments reached $30.7 trillion in 2018.

Highlighting the soaring figure of $30.7 trillion in sustainable investments in 2018, provides a vital testament to the rapid growth and sheer scale of the green economy globally. This spotlighted statistic indisputably illustrates the financial sector’s progressive shift towards socially responsible and environmentally friendly business models. It paints a vivid picture of the increasing profitability and viability of sustainable ventures and potentially plays a significant role in influencing policy-makers, entrepreneurs and investors towards supporting sustainable business initiatives. Thus, providing this data emphasizes the changing economic landscape, exuding optimism and actionable insights for anyone invested in the path toward a more sustainable globe.

A 10% increase in energy efficiency reduces energy costs by 2.2%.

In the vista of sustainability, one insightful statistic casts a spotlight on the tangible effects of energy efficiency: an elevation of 10% in energy efficiency leads to a deduction of 2.2% in energy costs. This paints a clear picture of the astounding interconnection between the optimization of energy efficiency and the mitigation of energy expenses. Given that the ultimate quest of sustainability is lessening our ecological footprint, this statistic underscores the economic advantages that are intertwined with such practices. Notably, it evinces that pushing the envelope on energy efficiency does not merely benefit our planet, but it can also be a key lever in providing savings, which pushes the discourse of sustainability beyond being an environmental obligation to a financial incentive.

Conclusion

Through a thorough analysis of various sustainability statistics, it is clear that the path to sustainable future has become a global priority. The gradual increase in renewable energy sources, reductions in carbon emissions and the growth of recycling programs underscore the strides we are making towards sustainability. However, persistent challenges related to population growth, waste production, and increasing resource consumption remind us of the long journey ahead. These statistics serve as crucial indicators of our progress, highlighting areas where significant improvements need to be made and helping us set clear, data-driven environmental goals.

References

0. – https://www.www.unglobalcompact.org

1. – https://www.www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org

2. – https://www.www.imf.org

3. – https://www.about.bnef.com

4. – https://www.archive.epa.gov

5. – https://www.www.ren21.net

6. – https://www.www.thinkadvisor.com

7. – https://www.www.deloitte.com

8. – https://www.www.usgs.gov

9. – https://www.www.netimpact.org

10. – https://www.www.footprintnetwork.org

11. – https://www.www.unep.org

12. – https://www.www.nationalgeographic.com

13. – https://www.www.theguardian.com

14. – https://www.www.nielsen.com

15. – https://www.www.iea.org

16. – https://www.www.un.org

17. – https://www.eneken.ieej.or.jp

FAQs

What is the definition of sustainability?

Sustainability is the use of earth's resources in a way that will not permanently destroy or deplete them. It involves using resources responsibly and efficiently to prevent future resource depletion.

Why is sustainability important?

Sustainability is vital for the long-term survival of our planet. It ensures we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

What are the key elements of sustainability?

The key elements of sustainability are often considered to be the 'three pillars' economic, social, and environmental (also commonly referred to as the Profit, People, and Planet framework). These pillars are interconnected and all are critical for holistic sustainability strategies.

How can statistics contribute to sustainability?

Statisticians can contribute to sustainability by providing accurate, meaningful data about various environmental impacts and resource usage. Their role is vital in measuring and monitoring progress towards sustainability goals, identifying areas for improvement, and informing policy decisions.

What are some examples of sustainability indicators that statisticians might use?

Statisticians might use various sustainability indicators such as carbon dioxide emissions levels, energy consumption rates, air and water quality indices, recycling rates, biodiversity measures, and economic indices like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) adjusted for environmental impact.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

Table of Contents

Sustainability Statistics: Explore more posts from this category