As a reporter, I’ve always resisted the idea of what editors like to call “forward looking” stories. Predictions are fun, but it’s hard enough to fully understand the present and the past. My preference is to leave the future to fortune cookies.
Whoever said it, I agree – so instead of trying to forecast 2014, let’s look back at the the big stories in sustainable business from 2013, knowing that they will shape whatever lies ahead. As the US editor-at-large ofGuardian Sustainable Business, I’ll offer what is unavoidably a US-centric perspective.
My story goes on to look at five themes of the year just past:
- The decline in greenhouse gas emissions in the US
- Solar power, mainstream at last
- The aftermath of Rana Plaza
- Industrial-strength sustainability, by which I mean collaborative efforts to change entire industries or systems.
- Inequality, on the political agenda
You can read the rest of the story here.
I see reason to be optimistic about all of these themes. Each offers opportunities for forward-thinking companies. That said, the challenge for business in 2014 will be to accelerate and scale its efforts to deal with the world’s big environmental and social problems. That’s one prediction I will comfortably make.