2021 is coming to an end. It’s time to look to the future. Sustainable and social commitment is moving up the list of corporate priorities year by year. Let’s take a look at some of the business trends that could be of particular interest in 2022.
1. Data-driven action
How can impact be measured? This question will present a real challenge for companies in the coming years. Because people don’t want empty promises, they want facts.
Sustainability is no exception. One example is the Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli. The company collects usage data recorded by sensors in its tyres to make more efficient decisions and avoid wasting raw materials. There are many ways to achieve the goal. However, the goal always remains the same: to make environmentally conscious actions measurable.
2. Green investment is the future
It’s not only in politics that things are shifting. Companies also need to rethink their approach. For example, 53% of major players in the financial sector say that sustainability will be “central” to their business in the future.
The fact that the global financial world is moving in the direction of green investments makes one thing clear: companies and nations will have to become even greener in the future in order to secure funding. This is a positive development. For investors and for our planet.
3. “Stakeholder” is the magic word
Awareness of sustainability issues is on the rise. According to the UN, up to 70% of people are more environmentally aware now than they were before the coronavirus pandemic. 40% say they want to actively change their behaviour and live more sustainably.
It has long been understood that companies need to focus on their shareholders. But with the growing awareness of environmental issues, this is no longer enough. The needs of stakeholders (employees, consumers and the broader social community) must now be taken seriously.
4. Expansion of renewable energy
The transition to renewable energy is a major challenge for the future. In 2022, this will also have an impact on companies. Every year, sustainable electricity production grows by about 7%, but unfortunately, this is not enough to keep pace with increasing global demand.
This is where business comes in: companies must rise to the challenge of making their energy use more efficient.
5. Greater transparency
Transparency. A term that is as overused as it is unclear. Until now, UN regulations have required organisations above a certain size to disclose their environmental data. But this is not enough. The current climate summits may lead to an expansion of these regulations. In this way, positive efforts could be better recognised, and failures could be held accountable. This is a theme that companies will have to face in 2022.
Success through sustainability
If more companies become forward-looking and sustainable, this will not only lead to a greener future. It will also pay off: according to studies, companies that are particularly committed to the environment and social issues experience higher growth than their competitors on average, even in the long term.
This means that business growth and commitment to a sustainable future are not mutually exclusive. So, why not take action? The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now. The trends for 2022 paint a clear picture.
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