5 trends that will shape green industry in 2024


(Photo: iStock)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that global renewable energy generation capacity will exceed 4,500 GW by 2024, nearly equivalent to fossil fuels. Businesses are keen to know sustainable green energy trends. Eco-business, a multinational online media ecosystem, has summarized 5 key factors of changing industries and societies. These include Scope 3 supply chain decarbonization, the development of electric vehicles in Asia, the election fever, the growing awareness of greenwashing, and labor rights issues sparked by artificial intelligence.

Scope 3 supply chain decarbonization

The Corporate Environmental Action Tracker report released by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reveals that companies' disclosure of Scope 3 carbon emissions doubled in 2023 compared to 2019. The significant increase in attention is attributed to the formulation of more stringent environmental protection standards and sustainable practices by relevant regulatory authorities.

For instance, in June 2023, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) unveiled carbon disclosure guidelines, including General Sustainability Disclosures (IFRS S1) and Climate Disclosures (IFRS S2). In response to demands from government organizations and key stakeholders, companies are taking more proactive measures to enhance transparency. They are setting targets and making commitments through various channels, such as obtaining approval from the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which includes the disclosure of Scope 3 carbon emissions.

Asia electric vehicles development

In recent years, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) market has been thriving, with sales accounting for nearly a quarter of the global market. Other developing countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, and India, are also actively developing the electric vehicle industry.

Thailand, particularly, as a major automotive production and export hub in Southeast Asia, has seen electric vehicle sales comprising 9% of the overall automotive market, driven by incentives such as subsidies and tax exemptions. Indonesia, leveraging its abundant nickel resources, aims to attract overseas automotive and battery manufacturers to establish an electric vehicle supply chain in the country.

SAIC Motor-CP debuts its first Thailand-made NEW MG4 ELECTRIC Thailand Edition. (Photo: MG Automotives)

Furthermore, during the United Nations Climate Summit (COP28), 56 wealthy countries, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany, pledged to provide financial support, supply chain development, and technical assistance to emerging markets. This commitment is expected to address issues such as high vehicle prices and a lack of charging infrastructure, with the goal of making electric vehicles affordable, accessible, and attractive options by 2030.

Election fever in Asia

For the first time, there will be 40 national election all over the world this year, about one-fourth of which will be in Asia. Many experts believe that even with the formation of new governments, there is likely to be continuity in energy policies from previous administrations. For instance, nickel ore export ban that Joko Widodo proud of is expected to continue for his successor of Indonesia.

However, Rere Christanto, manager of mining and energy campaign of Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) said that no presidential candidate speaks about the impacts of the downstream nickel industry in Indonesia. “Parties supporting the candidates also previously had a track record as proponents of mineral and coal laws which are the basis for accelerating damage caused by mining in Indonesia,” he added.

Indonesia is set to hold its presidential election this February. The three presidential candidates (from right to left) , Ganjar Pranowo, Prabowo Subianto, and Anies Baswedan have different perspectives on energy policy. (Photo: Prabowo's Facebook)

Growing awareness of greenwashing

According to research firm Mintel, 74% of respondents in the Asia-Pacific region express a desire for brands to address environmental issues and take a leading role in solving climate problems, rather than merely following government and relevant organizations' long-term carbon reduction plans. Matthew Crabbe, the Asia-Pacific director at Mintel, suggests that as businesses begin to adapt to climate change, trust and assurance will become central to environmental protection, social responsibility, and corporate governance (ESG).

To make consumer recognize company’s positive action, “brands can do this by explaining how they reduce food waste, energy and water use, packaging waste in their products, and how they are working towards adopting a circular economy business model, or how they are putting a certain amount of their profits back into sustainability efforts or supporting ethical organizations, Crabbe said.

AI innovations and labor rights

The global surge in artificial intelligence, especially in generative AI, is evident. According to a survey by Mintel, nearly half of the respondents in the Asia-Pacific region express concerns about AI replacing their jobs. Crabbe said, as more businesses embrace AI to increase productivity and cut costs, there will be widespread calls to protect and support workers. “Consumers will need time to adjust and learn how to make technology more applicable at the individual level, sparking new discussions and innovations around how to be intentional about blending the digital and the physical,” he stated.

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