New study: 85% think more about sustainability during Covid-19 pandemic

New study: 85% think more about sustainability during Covid-19 pandemic
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A new study from clean manufacturing firm Genomatica showed that 85% think more about sustainability during Covid-19 pandemic.

Findings suggest that “sustainability has moved from a fringe preference into a core imperative across American life.” Data from Genomatica showed that 85% of Americans said they have been thinking more about sustainability throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

For respondents who thought about it more, 45% observed less traffic and 24% cleaner air. The study also revealed that more than half (56%) of Americans expect the government and brands to thrust sustainability into forefront even while facing other issues.

“The results inspired us more,” says Schilling. “What we were feeling is being felt by a lot of other people.”

A similar survey held by Genomatica about a year ago showed that consumers wanted to make sustainable choices. However, it was difficult for them to do so due to confusion and lack of transparency..


Genomatica considers stay-at-home order as virtually no travel and a lot more Zoom meetings. “And there’s some real good to that,” says Genomatica’s co-founder and CEO, Christophe Schilling, as his employees found new means to be effective at their jobs without carbon emissions.

“You don’t know if you have a great culture until it has been tested,” he said. He added that the shutdown brought out leaders in their organization.

“There are countless examples of people who are not senior leaders, but they find themselves in a particular situation in this environment, and they step up into leadership roles in amazing ways,” he says.

According to Schilling, there is no definite policy that can address the economy and the environment.

“But it’s not just about fuels. It’s also about other higher-value chemicals and materials,” he says. “As the power of biotechnology gets better and better, we should be able to make things at lower and lower costs.”

“We see a lot of action being taken in Europe, which is almost like a regulatory superpower on these issues,” says Schilling. “But there’s a lot of ingenuity here, and the awareness and desire in the US feels like it’s increasing. There’s a long way to go, but it’s encouraging.”

Green recovery plan

The International Energy Agency (IEA) laid out a $3 trillion green recovery plan to help rebuild global economies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The vision of the agency is considered a “once-in-a-lifetime” framework to help economies recover from Covid-19 in a sustainable manner.

The Sustainable Recovery report is made to offer world leaders cost-effective measures that they could apply from 2021 through to 2023.

The green recovery plan of IEA has three main goals: boosting economic growth, job creation, and formation of more resilient and cleaner energy systems.

“As they design economic recovery plans, policymakers are having to make enormously consequential decisions in a very short space of time,” Fatih Birol, executive director at the IEA, said in the report.

“These decisions will shape economic and energy infrastructure for decades to come and will almost certainly determine whether the world has a chance of meeting its long-term energy and climate goals.”