Science, consumers and new founders to drive ESG innovation

If 2021 is the year Mainstreaming Environment, Society and Governance (ESG), 2022 will be the year that drives innovation and innovators forward, say members of the Fast Company Impact Council — an invite-only gathering of leaders from the Group of industries. Members say a number of commercial, regulatory and cultural factors will motivate companies to continue to develop an agenda that puts sustainability, social good and inclusion on par with profitability and growth. Here are the edited excerpts:

Caroline Brown, Managing Director, Closed Loop Partners

“We anticipate expanded adoption of transparency tools, new material innovations, and reuse solutions, as well as advances in technology, such as molecular recycling, 3D design, and advanced manufacturing platforms. We believe science and technology will continue to impact consumer products in a way we’ve never seen before. Finally, We see continued growth in emerging circular business models at all levels of companies, allowing companies to make better use of materials and products, increase loyalty with consumers and reduce their environmental footprint.”

Andrea Carava, Founding Fellow, Stanford University, and Director of Blackstone Launchpad and Rachel Carson Lecturer, University of California, Santa Cruz

“Climate technology, entrepreneurship and deep technological innovation are on the rise to address the greatest challenges facing humanity. It is critical for large companies, as well as start-ups, to launch new products, not only with their target customers in mind, but also with other stakeholders and property rights in mind. And it’s time for universities to lead the innovation side of this story. We’ll see more universities teach students how they can build new kind of technology products and projects that tackle some of humanity’s most pressing challenges with values ​​of diversity, inclusion and equity from day one.”

Brad Lukanek, CEO of Canon Design

“The built environments in 2022 will be highly fraught with change, in part due to the rapid need for interaction, and tools to tackle climate change will also be front and center. We have better IoT-connected tools that will be able to scale things and make them more accountable in built environments. And while We think about supply chain problems and labor shortages, we’ll see units [solutions]. Manufacturing will be at the center at the intersection of design and technology.”

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