As we enter 2022, some of us are hopeful for a better year as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic. But whilst it’s possible we are emerging from one crisis, we are absolutely 100% on the cusp of another much larger, more profound one.
We are two years into ‘the decisive decade’ and although emissions dipped in 2020 (largely due to lockdowns worldwide), they were back up in 2021. That’s worrying, as the science tells us we need to decarbonise substantially by the end of the decade. With every year that passes we need to transform our economy even more quickly if we are to stay within 1.5 or 2 degrees of warming.
There will be significant change. Not only in the natural world, but also in the corporate world. Like those infographics that show company value over time, we are going to see the rapid rise of some (think – Apple, Facebook and Tesla), and the rapid decline of others (Blockbuster, Nokia and Kodak).
So who’s next on those lists? And rather than just a few well known examples, will it become a more common story – of both success and failure?
It’s clear that the accelerating pace of the climate crisis will have an impact. But will it be the defining economic metric of the decade?
Personally, I think it will. And I think that the next businesses to collapse will be those that fail to adapt.
The ones to rise will be those that are solving it: purpose driven companies whose primary focus is addressing the crisis. Whether it’s renewable energy or electric transport, sustainable waste management or food production, there is a fantastic level of innovation. These sectors are growing rapidly and change is coming, possibly faster than many of us think.
On the other hand we might see the pace of change slowed by the pandemic. Businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic may be less inclined to embrace yet more change as they focus on recovering a healthy balance sheet. Those that have done well may be less motivated to change. And with every year that we don’t change, we miss opportunities to avert the worst.
The good news is that companies like Goterra are entering the New Year at pace. We managed more waste than ever in November, then again in December. And we’re opening a new facility in January, which will increase our impact further still. With 1.3bn tonnes of food wasted globally every year, the challenge looms large in front of us, as does the size of the opportunity. With more sites planned in 2022, Goterra is going to look very different by the end of the year. Who knows, we might even make it onto a ‘company value’ infographic…
Bob Gordon, Chief Evangelist at Goterra. 6th January 2022.