With COP26 and G20 extending public awareness around the need for sustainability, there’s no doubt that 2022 will be a significant year for greener consumerism and buyer decision-making.
As businesses feel the pull to progress their green credentials, we take a look at the expected sustainability trends of 2022 and the innovative programmes implemented to achieve them.
With transport responsible for 17.9% of Ireland’s total greenhouse gas emissions, recent years have witnessed a strong push towards sustainable alternatives.*
Urged on by government grants to subsidise the switch, as consumer demand for greener transport increases, businesses and workplaces will have to adapt to remain at the forefront.
Electric Charging Points
Public charging points are becoming a staple feature in car parks, lay-bys and train stations, and with electric car registrations up 19% since 2022, it’s no surprise.* Scattered approximately every 50km on major routes, there are roughly 900 public charging points in Ireland.* But is this enough?
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAi) estimates upwards of 41,000 electric cars on Irish roads, and with the number set to increase, people are looking to companies, workplaces, and councils to fill the void.*
To ease the switch to electric cars, the government have introduced the Electric Vehicle Grant Scheme. The scheme offers support to local councils and individuals looking to add public electric charging points by providing up to €5000 towards the costs of purchasing and installing a charging point.
To learn more about the government grants available to subsidise the switch to electric cars, visit Electric Vehicle Grant Scheme.
Sustainable Fuel Alternatives
Primarily led by the aviation industry, 2022 will continue to witness companies commit to switching to sustainable fuel alternatives. Edging away from fossil jet fuel, more and more airlines are announcing their intention to transition to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Produced from sustainable feedstock rather than fossil fuels, SAF can significantly reduce carbon emissions.
Responsible for 1.6% of Ireland’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, waste management has long been a problem area for sustainability.*
However, since making changes to the waste management sector, including improving landfilling standards, waste management emissions have decreased since 2019.*
But, with the threat of climate change ever-present, creating a sustainable waste management system is never far away from the new year’s agenda.
So, what are the predicted waste management trends of 2022?
The first part of the slogan ‘reduce, reuse, recycle ‘, waste reduction is the first step to creating a sustainable waste management system.
In what’s commonly referred to as a ‘throw-away-culture’, reducing our waste creates a positive domino effect, including lessening landfill waste, decreasing resource consumption, and lowering emissions, and there are several ways to do it.
- Switch to reusable items.
Replacing single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, bottles, and throw-away cutlery, with reusable alternatives will help to reduce the amount of waste in circulation.
- Go paperless.
Allowing energy savings, reducing resource consumption, and extending the lifecycle of products, recycling presents the opportunity for all individuals to contribute to the fight against climate change.
As recycling infrastructure improves, treatment processes expand to increase recycling capabilities, and government recycling targets continue to grow, the trend of recycling will only gain in popularity.
- Compost food and natural waste.
Food and natural waste, including items such as coffee grounds and fruit peels, creates CO2e emissions when sent to landfill sites. In contrast, composting food and natural waste will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the emission of methane that occurs when landfilling food waste.
With two methods available - composting and anaerobic digestion – composting produces a material that can function as fertiliser or soil conditioner.
- Audit waste.
A waste audit allows companies, organisations, and workplaces to understand and acknowledge their waste production and, by providing data and recommendations, delivers the necessary guidance to reduce waste production and enhance recycling rates.
With so much focus on the importance of recycling, 2022 will see numerous workplaces and organisations implement and improve recycling programmes to achieve their ambitious waste targets.
After using waste audits to advise on waste stream additions, many recycling programmes now features once niche waste collections, such as crisp packet recycling bins, PPE collection bins and coffee cup recycling stations alongside the more common paper, cans, and plastic bins.
To discover new recycling technology and innovations, see Rethinking Recycling: Soft Plastics, E-waste, and Clever Ideas for Programme Success.
Providing a system that promotes recycling, teaches methods, supplies the means, and measures successes, recycling programmes harness the power to significantly increase recycling rates.
To learn more about introducing or improving a recycling programme, read our latest eBook: A Guide to Creating a Successful Recycling Programme.
In addition to the emissions produced when sent to landfills, batteries can potentially cause harm if placed in general waste or incorrect recycling bins.
Harbouring toxic and corrosive materials, batteries can cause fires at industry facilities.
For both reasons, 2021 has witnessed an uptake in battery recycling programmes, with companies adding battery recycling bins to their recycling stations and educating staff and visitors about the harmful effects of mishandling and incorrectly disposing of batteries.
With small bins, such as the 5-litre capacity C-Thru™ 5L Battery Recycling Bin, for organisations with minimal battery waste to larger bins, such as the C-Thru Nexus® 30 Battery Recycling Bin, for workplaces with a frequent and large supply of battery waste, there are numerous options to choose from to join the movement to end battery to landfill waste.*
Food Waste recycling
Ireland registers a staggering 1 million tonnes of food waste per year.* But, with composting methods readily available, food waste collection is rising.
But, with composting methods readily available and anaerobic digestion facilities converting food waste into renewable energy, separation and collection of food waste is set to rise.
Fitted with lids to prevent unwanted odours, food waste bins enable recycling users to collect unwanted food and natural waste and, on models such as the Hippo™ Catering Waste Bin, feature a foot pedal for easy disposal.
Defined as the energy collection from renewable sources, such as solar panels and wind farms, 42% of Ireland’s electric in 2020 came from renewable energy.*
Generated from infinite resources rather than fossil fuels, renewable energy usage has numerous benefits:
- It emits less greenhouse gas,
- It improves air quality,
- Its supply is infinite.
So, what are the 2022 expectations surrounding renewable energy?
Switch to a Green Energy Supplier
An environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuel-generated energy, switching to a green energy supplier often offers cost reductions, more control and peace of mind.
With renewables set to overtake fossil fuels in the coming decades and new capacity boosting UK generation, it’s no surprise demand for green energy suppliers is rising.
Install Solar Panels
Adding solar panels to workplaces and company buildings can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Fitted to our UK offices in 2016, the 120 solar panels generate approximately 25,000kWh a year, reducing the amount of energy we import from the National Grid by 40%.
Over five years, the move to solar panels has generated enough electricity to reduce CO2 emissions by around 420 tonnes.
A common phrase in 2021, net-zero ambitions aren’t going away anytime soon. Achieved through a combination of emission-reducing implementations, including waste management, carbon off-setting and resource efficiency, net-zero signifies the balance between the carbon emitted and the carbon removed from the atmosphere.
Shaped around the desire to create a healthier planet for future generations, the expected sustainability trends of 2022 emphasise the drive for carbon neutrality.
As climate change awareness and environmental accountability continue to rise, the trends will no doubt become a common feature of company and organisation manifestos.