The Sustainability Imperative

As organizations struggle to define a strategy that balances purpose and profit, opportunities are increasingly emerging to take the lead in sustainability initiatives. Front-line advances in areas such as net-zero emissions, AI-powered solutions for the underserved, precision agriculture, digital healthcare, and more are delivering business benefits, while simultaneously contributing to the realization of the UN’s 17 SDGs. We provide the expert thinking, debate, and guidance to help your organization reposition and transform in the era of sustainability.

Subscribe to the Sustainability Advisor

Recently Published

Kerstin Kopal and Dirk Wittowsky holistically examine the interaction between societal benefits and public health aspects. As integrated as these functions are, public health concerns are usually included too late or not at all in urban planning processes today. The authors use a survey on walkability conducted in 2021 in Essen, Germany, to show how cities can identify key relationships between the built environment and healthy mobility behavior. The goal is to promote active mobility interventions by city planners; along the way, Kopal and Wittowsky describe how walkability data can be used by stakeholders like real estate companies and public transportation operators.
François-Joseph Van Audenhove and Hans Arby look at recent MaaS trends and detail four causes for slow progress: lack of demand, offerings that don’t match demand, suboptimal enablement, and lack of viable business cases. The answer, they believe, lies in cities setting priorities to help extract value at the system level. Van Audenhove and Arby advocate for a comprehensive framework that includes framing dimensions (e.g., mobility patterns and system characteristics and creating the right conditions for mobility service providers) and enabling dimensions (e.g., integration support, regulations that allow open collaboration, and systems to ensure learnings from experimentation are extracted and shared). “One size fits all” is not the answer for MaaS, write the authors. Rather, comprehensive approaches and increased collaboration between public and private stakeholders are needed.
Christian Müller, Jochen Gönsch, Louisa Albrecht, and Max Staskiewicz explore dynamic pricing mechanisms for car-sharing services. Their data-driven model predicts future vehicle movements and the expected profit of each vehicle, then uses machine learning and AI to combine various data sources. This results in different prices for the same vehicle for different customers, depending on their location, thus rebalancing cars in the pickup/drop-off zone without the operator having to relocate cars (adding emissions). According to the authors, an extensive computational study and a case study showed the approach outperforms all benchmarks, saves providers operational costs, and improves sustainability via clear decarbonization benefits.
Andrea Lorenzini explains how SUMPs can help local and regional authorities meet targets set out in the European Green Deal. Six laboratories (in Belgium, Romania, the UK, Lithuania, Italy, and Greece) were set up to show how cities can develop the next generation of SUMPs and “put mobility at the heart of sustainable urban transformation.” These labs are finding a need for strong coordination and collaboration at the local and regional levels (including cross-sectoral links), and Lorenzini describes what this could look like. He points out that achieving net zero carbon by 2025 will require radical changes in transport and governance, followed by a periodic realignment of local planning objectives, partnerships, and frameworks with the high-level policy goals set at EU, national, and regional levels.
Innovative technologies such as MaaS, blockchain, big data, Internet of Things, augmented reality, AI, autonomous driving, and digital twins are being implemented to decarbonize transportation and mobility systems. This issue of Amplify highlights the potential of technologies and new actors to develop mobility services so innovative that they can transform the current system into a more widely accepted, sustainable, resilient, and integrated model.
In this Advisor, we explore a key trend revealed through ADL's CEO Insights research analysis: while a shift has occurred in ESG priorities, approaches to it have matured, and most leaders still see its importance.
In this Advisor, Margaret O’Gorman offers some initial steps leaders can take to help their companies start a nature positive journey: raise awareness in the organization, explore the organization’s relationship to nature, assess for impacts, and plan interventions.
This Amplify Update discusses ways to extend the momentum created by the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) — aka “The Biodiversity Plan” — and identifies business action as critical to the mission of halting and reversing nature loss by 2030.