Photo by Mark Boss / Unsplash

The only sustainability and ESG trend survey you'll ever need...

Every January, various think tanks and advisory firms in the sustainability and ESG space publish a trend survey for the year ahead. If you haven't already waded through the 2022 crop, I've put together this handy template to save you time.

Think of any environmental or socioeconomic issue that made the headlines in 2021. Let's call it "X". Now simply read the following bullet points in order, replacing the words in curly brackets as appropriate:

  • In 2021 {unexpected crisis which experts foresaw but no one listened} caused significant economic disruption, demonstrating that X can no longer be ignored.
  • Calls to address X will continue to grow in 2022, and this will present both opportunities and challenges for {companies / investors}.
  • The {ABC}, {DEF}, and {GHI} initiatives, which have been driving important progress on X for over a decade, will continue to strengthen their guidance for {companies / investors} to follow. In 2022 these initiatives will commit to collaborate more with a view to creating one unified set of standards for X.
  • The {JKL}, {MNO} and {PQR} coalitions will continue to grow, with more {companies / investors} than ever signing up to address X by 2050.
  • Some {companies / investors} will become more vocal about how they are embedding X considerations into their core models, saying it's just good for business.
  • But while we welcome these advances, the scientific consensus is that the speed and scale of change will be nowhere near enough to neutralise the systemic risks posed by X.
  • In fact, experts agree that X can only be properly addressed through progressive and internationally-aligned regulation. However, {insert a list of key nations here, or just say "governments across the globe"} are still scrambling to get their growth back to pre-{aforementioned unexpected crisis} levels. So it is unlikely that we will see any meaningful regulatory reform until at least 2023.

In the spirit of re-use, please feel free to dust off this template 12 months from now, and just add one to all of the year numbers!