Towards a circular economy … seriously now

I agree with Yuval noah harari (author of ‘Sapiens’ among other best sellers) in which the human being of the XXI century (we, right now) suffer from a social story that guides us when creating strategies to face our problems. With nationalisms and Marxisms buried, and with liberalism more questioned than ever, we really do not know how to deal with these great problems of today: the environment and technological disruption. In fact, we are in a nihilistic moment in history in which the banana skin is (in) cultured before its interior.

However, I believe that we are getting closer and closer to creating a new story valid for humanity and based on improved models of the previous ones. That is, in search of sustainability or sustainable development or what is beginning to be called as ESG criteria (Environmental, Social and Governance Criteria). It will be a change so deep and so radical, but so fast, that it will shake all the current beliefs on which our way of life is based.

In order not to dwell on philosophical questions, I will land the topic on what concerns us in these pages: trade. According to Forrester, “In 2022, the expectations of customers in the retail sector will drive the circular economy and returns as a differentiator, and will be the basis for examining and implementing a number of new partners.”

Since the beginning of 2020, retail has undergone nearly two years of extraordinary transformation, accelerated by factors such as the global pandemic; increased attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria; the evolution of technology, etc. In 2022, we anticipate that retailers and brands selling to consumers will: a) Cultivate new strategic partnerships to grow and adapt. b) They will develop new business models and income streams. c) They will adapt to the evolution of world market conditions. d) They will double the concrete means to become more obsessed with the client as organizations.

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One of the great novelties will be the implementation of real policies and strategies within business structures. It is a train that the old continent does not want to miss (after losing so many and so many due to our quixotic Europeanism) and it is estimated that the EU will lead the creation of the role of CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) within companies.

We are seeing the tip of the iceberg through many companies that, particularly during this past October, have taken up the fight against carbon emissions, setting the goal of ZERO emissions. From Mastercard to Amazon, through brands like Blue Banana, which are born with that DNA, large, medium and small have agreed on it.

One thing is clear. The new generations of consumers will force the brands to fulfill their ‘green duties’, otherwise they will be penalized, because precisely the new generations are so aware of the global environmental challenge, as it will be to them, and not to their predecessors, who they have to live it in the first instance.

I finish, with this Indian proverb that I have used several times in our opening sentence of the newsletter:Only when the last tree is dead, the last river poisoned and the latest caught fish, you will realize that
you can’t eat money ”.

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