Despite 2021 being a challenging and disruptive year for many organisations, we have found ourselves busily working on a broad spectrum of carbon reduction initiatives. These projects have continued at pace simply due to the passion and conviction of small groups of like-minded folks, hidden in organisations. We salute those environmental warriors who have had to overcome budget cuts, team shortages, supply chain delays and apathy, to continue to keep environmental and social responsibility high on the agenda of business leaders.
So here at Green Jam HQ we have been reading our mystical green tea leaves to predict five trends in the carbon reduction ecosystem we believe will accelerate in the New Year and beyond.
Our five emerging trends in 2021 that will gain in prominence next year are:
1. Accountability for actions: One of the more positive areas to emerge from COP 26 was the requirement of large UK businesses and financial institutions to publish how they intend to hit climate change targets. By 2023, the measurement and management of carbon emissions needs to be underpinned by clear targets and costed plans for reduction, details many investors have called upon for some time. This is likely to have a major ripple effect in 2022 with key suppliers also under greater pressure to demonstrate a plan. This is already a new supplier selection criterion and is likely to start affecting existing suppliers.
2. Electric HGVs: The electrification of refuse collection vehicles will really start to gather pace in 2022 as many councils continue to trial or fully embrace zero emission RCVs. Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Oxford, Westminster and Islington are just a few of the areas now operating Dennis Eagle, Renault and Electra vehicles. With new models from Volvo and Mercedes-Benz arriving in 2022, look out for an eRCV collecting your waste soon.
3. Electric public transport: Significant support from the DfT’s ZEBRA fund and the Scottish Government’s SULEB scheme is behind the push to operate electric buses at scale in the UK. The Caledonia electric bus charging hub in Glasgow is one of several now in development across the UK with over 800 electric buses predicted to be in service by the end of 2022.
4. Local grid congestion: The race to secure existing network capacity will, in some areas of the UK, become a potential source of competitive advantage and form a key part of the property portfolio strategy. The costs and timescales of connecting are placing greater pressure on all development projects in 2022, particularly those projects involving adopting heavy electric vehicles or multiple operators in the same area competing for power with other local development projects.
5. Fleet Manager turns Energy Manager: The rising electricity prices in 2022 coupled with rising site demand through EV adoption, will make the energy supply of critical importance and a key operational cost to the fleet operator. With the procurement of energy often managed by a central function, the monitoring and management of electricity use in support of an electric fleet will gain in significance.
2021 was a year for articulating the urgency of climate action. Many of these trends are stemming from the pressure placed by ordinary citizens, as customers, employees, shareholders and voters. The direction of travel is clear. Working together to design and deliver projects that make 2022 the year to put a marker down to be the change we all want to see. Green Jam are proud to be part of this movement to instigate change.
Enjoy the festive period and a happy New Year to all.