Sustainable development responds to trends that will shape our future. We take these so-called megatrends as opportunities to create new products and services that will help to meet our customers’ needs and make them more successful.
Worldwide the demand for resources like oil, coal, natural gas, water, iron ore or copper is increasing, driven by a growing population and higher spending power. On the other hand, these resources are limited or their extraction is getting more and more costly. Efficient and intelligent use of these resources is one of the main challenges for future growth.
Over the past 500,000 years, the world has seen four ice ages. Much of North America, Europe and Asia were covered by glaciers. The warm periods in between shaped coastlines dramatically as sea levels rose. Yet throughout these periods, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) stayed well below 300 parts per million (ppm). In 2008 that concentration passed 384 ppm. Atmospheric carbon dioxide level now stands more than a third above the pre-industrial level.
Fresh water is the oil of the 21st century. Essential for healthy ecosystems and human survival itself, clean water is also becoming a scarce commodity. The scarcity grows in urgency in many regions as population growth, climate change, pollution, lack of investment, and management failures restrict the amount of water available relative to demand. Already today one billion people lack a sufficient supply of drinking water. And the situation is projected to worsen rapidly.
Worldwide, projects for construction and maintenance of infrastructure require substantial financial resources. Especially the rapid rise of emerging economies calls for huge investments in infrastructure projects. With the growth of urban population, efficient and environmentally low-impact transportation infrastructure will be a necessity for a prosperous and sustainable future.