Nature-Positive Household & Personal Care Sector May Yield Additional $62 Billion A Year By 2030: WEF

The sector currently generates around $700 billion in annual revenue
Nature-Positive Household & Personal Care Sector May Yield Additional $62 Billion A Year By 2030: WEF

Household products and personal care sector can generate up to an additional $62 billion in annual business value by 2030 if it makes nature a central focus of its operations, a new research by the World Economic Forum (WEF) said on Tuesday.

The projection is part of a broader $10.1-trillion business opportunity that could be unlocked by 2030 if more nature-positive solutions are embraced by the private sector, the WEF said.

By emphasising on water stewardship, responsible sourcing, nature conservation, and circularity, household products and personal care sector can reshape its role in halting and reversing nature loss by 2030, the research titled Nature Positive: Role of the Household and Personal Care said.

The sector currently generates around $ 700 billion in annual revenue, but sometimes at the expense of the environment.

For instance, the cosmetics industry alone produces 120 billion packaging units a year.

Palm oil - a common ingredient in many cosmetics and detergents -- was responsible for 7 per cent of global deforestation between 2000 and 2018, according to various researches.

To counter these harmful practices, the World Economic Forum's research underscores that it is imperative for the sector to operate within safe Earth system boundaries and contribute to a nature-positive and net-zero future.

Plastic production in this sector alone generates 3.4 per cent of Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, surpassing aviation's carbon footprint.

One of the recommendations of the research is reusing 10-20 per cent of plastic products that could prevent nearly 50 per cent of marine plastic pollution annually.

WEF Managing Director Gim Huay stressed on the importance of nature-positive transitions for companies, noting that they "mitigate against escalating risks in relation to the collapse of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity and also provide new business opportunities of up to $10.1 trillion".

In partnership with Business for Nature and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the WEF has released guidance designed to empower businesses in 12 sectors with the most significant impact on nature.

The goal is to lead the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of nature, aligning with the Global Biodiversity Framework's mission to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030.

Despite growing awareness and attention from businesses regarding nature conservation, progress remains slow, the WEF said.

Recent research reveals that while 83 per cent of Fortune Global 500 companies have climate change targets, only 25 per cent have established freshwater consumption targets. A mere 5 per cent have set targets related to biodiversity, with less than 1 per cent fully understanding their dependencies.

However, this moment of crisis also presents an opportunity for businesses. Those taking action now will be more resilient to risks and better prepared for new environmental regulations.

The Forum’s Future of Nature and Business report estimated that a full nature-positive transition in the global economy could create $10.1 trillion of annual business opportunities by 2030.

The sector-specific actions outlined in consultation with leading companies serve as a foundation for transforming business practices and helping them contribute to a nature-positive future.

Ulrike Sapiro, Chief Sustainability Officer of Henkel, a prominent chemical and consumer goods company, emphasised on the expectations of customers and investors for sustainable practices and transparency in supply chains, urging organisations to play their part in shaping a sustainable industry.

"Our customers and investors expect us to adopt sustainable practices and develop products that do no harm. They also want us to be transparent and accountable for any nature and biodiversity related impacts throughout our supply chains. Each of our organizations must play our part in shaping an industry that not only fulfils our everyday needs but also secures a flourishing planet for generations to come," she said.

The research showed that nature-based solutions have the potential to deliver up to 37 per cent of the emission reductions needed by 2030 to limit global temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius.

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