Global environmental challenges

To deliver sustainable, equitable development we work across the boundaries of commercial sectors and academic disciplines to focus on six shared global environmental challenges.

Energy

Reducing energy use, increasing energy efficiency and moving towards lower carbon sustainable energy sources across energy generation, transformation, distribution and consumption are all supported with eco-innovative solutions. Using resources and materials in a more efficient way will contribute to reducing energy demand, which is rising.

Water

With global water demand projected to increase by at least 50% to 2050, encouraging eco-innovation in the supply, treatment and use of water across industrial, agricultural, and domestic sectors is critical to ensure global access to safe and sustainable supplies. Only 0.007 percent of the planet's water is available to fuel and feed the world population. By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world's population living in water-stressed regions.

Natural capital

Growing population and land-use change from infrastructure development, forestry, bioenergy, and food supply are driving habitat fragmentation and biodiversity loss.  Eco-innovation can support positive impacts on our global natural capital assets through an understanding of natural processes combined with innovative tools and technologies.

Resource efficiency

A climate change resilient economy and society demands a sustainable supply and use of raw materials in order to meet the needs of a growing global population within the limits of the planet's natural resources. Encouraging all production and consumption chains and systems to be organized in a more circular and efficient way requires eco-innovation to drive positive change.

Food

Providing the world’s growing population with a sustainable, secure supply of safe, nutritious, and affordable high-quality food using less land, with lower inputs, and in the context of global climate change, other environmental changes and declining resources requires eco-innovation to become embedded across the whole food supply system.

Waste

Global demand for materials has increased 10 fold in the last 100 years. 70 billion tonnes of material is used annually. This is estimated to be 1.6 times what the world can produce each year. Eco-innovation can support improvements in the way that waste materials are managed through solutions that offer greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact.