As we began the year, we were hoping for less uncertainty and more calm. We’ve learned to live with the ever-evolving pandemic, but new worries and world events are once again testing our ability to respond, adapt and get our routines back on track. We have also come to realize that routines, particularly work routines, have likely changed forever.
The last couple of years have accelerated a number of sustainability trends for companies and organizations. We can now work efficiently, collaborate and innovate virtually, and actively lower our carbon footprints at the same time.
As we help clients tell their sustainability stories this year, we see three main themes emerging.
- Technology and legislation
- Societal resilience
- Personal accountability as people manage their climate anxiety and proactively advocate for more responsible consumerism
As Nobel Laureate Dennis Gabor said in 1963, “We cannot predict the future but we can invent it,” and technology offers a key opportunity. From tracking energy usage and environmental impacts to enabling more complex carbon accounting and emissions management, software applications will continue to increase in number and sophistication. Salesforce’s Sustainability Cloud, ServiceNow and the more recent Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability represent just one end of the spectrum. This year, we will likely see a proliferation of boutique data management options appear, particularly in light of increasing legislation.
The International Sustainability Standards Board has started developing a global baseline of standards that will give investors a much easier way to gather, compare and analyze sustainability-related data. At the same time, the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation will oversee consolidation of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board and the Value Reporting Foundation, which incorporates the Integrated Reporting Framework and the SASB Standards. Hopefully 2022 brings more comparability and more clarity for financial markets and the organizations that drive them.
With all that’s going on, no wonder businesses are facing a growing list of references to climate anxiety. At the same time, more of us are taking part in the debate and want to be part of the solution. According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, today, one in six Americans are alarmed or concerned about climate change; that’s almost twice as many as five years ago. Stakeholders – whether consumers, potential new hires, or investors – are increasingly demanding that businesses be responsible in addressing climate change.
Companies that have signed on to climate-related targets, continued reductions in many national emissions and groundbreaking collaborations in the energy transition space are meaningful developments. We believe that transparency and technology mean 2022 can be a year where ambition meets innovation and companies can take big steps toward their climate goals.
Spring Green Communications can help you demonstrate your progress. Contact us to learn more about our Sustainability Reporting services.