Sustainability in Business: Predictions for 2022

Sustainability in Business: Waste to Wonder’s Predictions for 2022

Written by Waste to Wonder

Waste to Wonder is a leading ethical office clearance provider that saves costs and delivers exceptional CSR and environmental results. It's flagship programme, School in a Box, has equipped over 1,000 schools in 23 countries with donated furniture from the clearances they undertake.

Commentary

20/12/2021

If you put much stock into the ancient predictions of Nostradamus, 2022 is going to bring us a meteor strike, an AI takeover, and a nuclear bomb. Which are really the last things we need.

If you’re a bit more grounded and data-driven (and are in the facilities management space), you might prefer to focus on these key predictions: 

Focusing even more in the here and now, we know that: 

    • 87% of large companies are going hybrid (adopting a mixture of home and office work)
    • 31% of business leaders are already thinking about reducing their office space (although 58% said they plan to increase it)
    • And just 10% of workplaces are planning on continuing with a fixed desk model (57% had dedicated desks for each employee prior to the pandemic), bringing in an era of “office hoteling” where employees share spaces and book desks via apps.

The themes emerging here are clear.

Many of the above can be summed up with one word: flexibility.

People want to choose how and where they work. With the volume of these demands so high and impossible to ignore, they might just get their wish. In the service sector, employees are no longer settling for unfulfilling 9-to-5s where they’re policed on when they take breaks and what time they walk into the office.

If things can be done from home, and if it’s best for health and safety, people are seeing no reason why they shouldn’t. Managers are getting onside too, realising in many cases remote work boosts productivity rather than hinders it.

There’s also the sustainability angle. A huge reduction in cars going into business districts means a huge reduction in polluting emissions. It means much less strain on public transport. You could even speculate the hour or two saved by removing the commute will multiply in benefit. With more hours in the day, people might just get enough sleep, make good choices like shopping locally and eating well, and take part in more exercise or community activities.

And that, of course, is another unignorable theme: sustainability.

A study from BCG found that 70% of people are more aware of climate issues now than they were before the pandemic. Of those, 40% plan to adopt more sustainable behaviours.

For facilities management, this means taking a drastic look at the energy we’re using to power workspaces. Renewable energy generation grew by 8% in 2021 worldwide. It’s a step in the right direction and usually spells cost reduction over time.

Waste management is also seeing huge paradigm shifts. No longer do we believe in throwing things “away” – we’re all too aware of the plastic that ends up in our oceans and the unrecyclables that end up in landfill. We’re moving towards reuse, repurposing, and sharing or donating when we no longer can. Naturally, this is at the heart of what we do at Waste To Wonder.

A final theme we noticed popping up time and again when analysing these predictions is: transparency.

Millennials now make up half the global workforce. Organisations must move away from generational trends and preferences, and create “multi-generational workplaces”, where varying (and sometimes conflicting) perspectives are considered.

Where older generations might value strict schedules, for example, younger staff members might be more comfortable in agile formats. Older employees might be used to rigid management structures, whereas many young people favour more open, collaborative workspaces. Forbes calls this “flatter organisations”, where the ability to shift and resize teams and work closely with remote and freelance employees leads to more of a community feel than a top-down hierarchy.

As we live longer and therefore work for longer, transparency will only get more important. Many younger people want to know what the company culture is like before they even consider interviewing. They’ll want to know how you as an employer will treat them and the environment around them.

As you’re certainly aware of by now, customers and clients also have increasing transparency demands. Information about your impact – e.g. data on carbon footprints and efforts you’re making to offset them – must be in the public domain. It’s the only way to foster trust with an increasingly conscientious population as we move into the future.

At Waste to Wonder, this is where we turn clearance projects into an opportunity to enhance our customers’ and partners’ businesses. We manage ethical office clearances from start to finish and produce CSR reports that detail carbon savings, as well as the human impact, of their furniture donations. For customers and partners, this information can be used in stakeholder engagement to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and CSR… attractive traits the talent pool and consumers of the future are looking for.

Waste To Wonder has had a record year, and we can’t wait to build on it further in 2022 with Challenge150. Being part of the challenge is one of the best and easiest ways to offset your environmental impact, save money, and provide valuable help to disadvantaged communities around the globe. If you have an office clearance needs, take the first steps for your offices today and see how we can help.

Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper

Founder & Director of Communications

Alan founded Waste to Wonder as he saw an opportunity to change a out-dated approach of companies relocating, where wastefulness was rife. Having a keen interest in corporate branding and social issues, it seemed a perfect time to link the two and form Waste to Wonder.

Still very active in Waste to Wonder’s business development and new international projects, Alan has more innovative plans to support customers, partners, and recipients worldwide.

Contact him by email on [email protected]

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