2022 Sustainability Trends
Success Stories

4 Sustainability Trends that will Shape Business in 2022

In recent years we have witnessed exponential growth in environmental sustainability trends which has led to businesses today having no choice but to integrate sustainability initiatives into their operations. Sustainable business practices do not only help create a greener future but they also attract modern consumers. To keep you informed, we have researched the top sustainability trends that will have an impact on companies in 2022.

1: Mainstream business participation in carbon offsetting. 

The global carbon offsetting market is booming in business circles. This has already become evident in recent years with companies like Stripe sharing carbon offsetting initiatives. However, carbon offsetting is further coming into play in 2022 as it is becoming a vital mechanism for firms to meet their environmental commitment. It goes without saying that carbon offsetting is a valuable introduction into business operations however it is important for businesses to also acknowledge the danger of relying on carbon off-setting as it is simply not enough. Businesses can no longer make offsetting statements, sit back, and avoid the ever-increasing environmental impact their operations have on the climate. Accurately speaking, they could but investors, employees and consumers alike are leveraging their influence and demanding the business world to navigate towards deep-rooted sustainable development. In many ways carbon offsetting is a “short-term fix” and companies can’t shy away from the fact that their long-term strategies must go beyond off-setting with more focus placed on reducing overall emissions and climate impact along their entire business operations and supply chains.

2: Businesses will have to deliver on their sustainability claims and promises. 

With more consumers recognising greenwashing claims, businesses globally are being put to the test in respect of their sustainability claims. To avoid net-zero becoming just a trendy statement, there is a growing list of regulations which obligate companies who have made net-zero pledges to deliver data-driven results. To display impactful intentions, industry leaders must become transparent with reference to the legitimate social and environmental impact of their products. At present, a system of a traffic light nature with the purpose of indicating the carbon footprint of products is on trial in the UK.

Alongside this, businesses are in a position where they must thoroughly reconsider the impact of their suppliers. In the coming year, we expect a stronger emphasis around how corporations account for their Scope 3 emissions. In particular the indirect emissions emitted throughout the supply and production chains, which often go undisclosed in company carbon footprint data. This being brought to a greater public attention has led to an increase in signups for initiatives which address Scope 3 emissions. Over 9,600 companies have disclosed data via CDP in 2020 which equals to a 70% growth rate since the Paris Agreement and 14% up from 2019. We anticipate this list to experience further growth in the near future. 

3. Valuing human capital in time of change is leading to sustainable benefits. 

Many employees have re-evaluated what they want from their careers as a result of experiences like remote working during the pandemic. This has greatly contributed to the “Great Resignation” as employees are demanding more from their employers as they contemplate if their position helps or hurts their wellbeing. Companies globally have noted that turnover has increased with one in four UK employees in October 2021 admitting that they are actively looking for alternative employment. This has led to reconsiderations on behalf of employers as they now must focus on supporting employees with options like better remote work flexibility and well-being initiatives. Many firms have also realised how these changes aid in their sustainability goals as remote working offers significant climate positive change. It brings reductions in the energy used by offices and to the volumes of transport on the road, thus lowering the general greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption. While not all tech giants have made these changes, Twitter is one leading by example by providing longevity and making large-scale remote working a viable option going forward.

4. Sustainable products becoming a consumer favourite. 

According to recent sustainability trends, research shows that 43% of consumers choose  brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values. Younger generations in particular are becoming a force to be reckoned with as they lead sustainable product demands with more than a third stating that they would pay on average a 25% price increase for a sustainable product or service. 

To win over consumers, brands must reconsider all aspects of their product production as sustainable products go way beyond packaging and reduced plastic. In 2022, becoming a sustainability leader has a lot to do with authenticity and transparency. To prevent greenwashing and to establish transparency as the gold standard for sustainable products, consumers are using their power with many only supporting businesses who are sharing data as to where the materials for their products were sourced and those avoiding high-emitting transportation. Businesses must be open to real change and impact as the collective influence of these consumers is spreading rapidly and only getting stronger. 

Implementing these sustainability trends within your business models, provides an opportunity to build your long-term consumer loyalty as well as business profitability. At Planet Marketing we offer sustainable brands marketing solutions which support these goals. Get in touch today to learn more.