Here’s my 2018 prediction: Sustainability will be the new lean. How do I know? Because the right side of my brain won’t let it go and the left side stopped pushing back. Everything’s pointing in this direction—all the key indicators, including hard, soft, left and right sentiment. And if your economic intuition tends to follow the money, then the latest trends aren’t hearsay, they’re evidentiary.
Why not sooner—say 2017? Because the middle market needs the big players to lead and that’s a work still in progress.
That said, Unilever, Procter & Gamble Co. and 3M are rounding third, and leading the market. Ikea Group just committed 1 billion euros to sustainable sourcing, on top of more than 2 billion already earmarked for sustainable energy. It’s already a billion-dollar bounty for at least 10 other global players, including Whole Foods, Target, General Electric, Tesla, Chipotle, Nike, Toyota and Natura. All are generating new offerings to prove their sustainability mettle.
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