Keeping track of all the developing trends within the sustainable world can be challenging, but for Manon Klein it is her passion. As the Innovation and Acceleration Lead of the Impact Hub Amsterdam, her job is to help entrepreneurs expand their sustainable business and impact. This has made her an expert in spotting entrepreneurial talent and potential. We asked her to have a look into the future and predict the sustainable trends of 2020.

Designing for circular use

“The first developing trend that I think will take the lead in 2020 is the trend of designing with ‘a circular perspective’. Products are being especially designed for circular use, in order to prevent complications in the recycling phase.

 In practise this means there is a big focus on the usage of sustainable and recyclable materials, as well as materials that are easily separated. For example, Zsilt use one type of plastic instead of a mixture. This tendency to design products suitable for circularity also results in the founding of many lease companies. The explanation is simple: when a product remains the property of the company, the company feels responsible for what happens after it has been used.

Good examples of such start-ups are Gerrard Street and Bundles. Gerrard Street leases headphones and Bundles does the same with coffee machines and washing machines.”

Regenerative agriculture

“Secondly, I would like to mention the global trend of regenerative agriculture. This entails growing with a focus on restoring land, enriching soil, increasing biodiversity, and preventing deforestation. Frontrunners within this trend are Land Life Company and Moma. Both companies improve the land they work with.

Regenerative agriculture is gaining popularity amongst farmers since it gives them a way to improve their product without exhausting the planet. Examples are Grounded in South-Africa or Alvelal in Spain. Both companies replant extremely degraded land and increase the farmers’ income by doing so. Moreover, the trend of regenerative agriculture generates possibilities to invest in soil quality and biodiversity. A huge initiative that illustrates this is the coalition of NGO’s who decided to invest $85 million into a agroforestry scale-up project in Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia.”

Flying-guilt

”There is a lot happening within the topic of mobility as well. People are taking responsibility and acknowledging that things have to change. Consumers even admit they have ‘flying-guilt’, meaning they feel guilty when they travel by plane. Though I prefer to use ‘train-pride’, an expression I learned from St. DOEN. I think it is much more stimulating if we celebrate better choices.

Another big development is the increased role of the government. They have finally admitted to climate change being their responsibility. Many new laws have been passed, creating demand for new innovations. Take for example, the banning of old diesel vehicles in Paris . This ban also meant that construction vehicles were not allowed in the city centre. It pushed innovators to look for what was needed: electric construction vehicles.

A company that acts upon the banning of diesel vehicles in city centres is New Electric. They refit vehicles with diesel engines into electric vehicles. Alongside this are companies like Felyx and OV Fiets, which help people get from public transport areas to their final destination, and clean cargo solutions like CoVadem and FoodLogica."

Momentum

"Public support, corporate innovations and new policies are needed to make all of the above happen. Momentum arose when people from all kinds of backgrounds started to feel responsible. Students and scholars are protesting on the streets, the government is introducing new laws, and even big corporations are taking action. It proves that if people care about their own future and for that of others, solutions will come."