Within our own digital workplace sector our employee engagement platform, Unily, allows for a streamlined and smooth transition for our clients to enable employees to work from home, but we wanted to understand the real impact of such accelerated change. “We are proud to have partnered with Dr.

Leyla Acaroglu to help us understand how we can make a difference. We are at the beginning of our journey and want to help businesses like ours find answers to start their own path to play a more active role in protecting the world around us for future generations.” Dr Leyla Acaroglu, explained, “Ways of working have changed dramatically over the last 100 years. From farming to factories to technology and now services, we live in an age of rapidly evolving disruptions to where, how and why we do work. We wanted to create this report with Unily in order to provide answers for the changes and challenges that this decade will bring for business. Every organisation will be at a different stage, as this report highlights the ways to engage with sustainability and multiple opportunities to lead through these complex times. The most important thing is getting started, and this report will support you in gaining the insights and advantages of establishing a journey towards a sustainable workplace.”

The key take-outs from the report include:

The Unily 2020 Census: *As part of the report, 2,000 UK based office workers, from graduate entry level jobs through to Senior Manager level, were surveyed by Censuswide in August 2020. Respondents were asked their views on sustainability trends within their workplace. Some of the key findings were:

• 65 per cent of respondents are more likely to work for a company with a strong environmental policy

• 72 per cent of workers are concerned about environmental ethics

• When asked to what extent they feel their company is fighting climate change, 83 per cent of respondents felt companies are not doing enough or could do more

• 63 per cent of those surveyed would like to learn more green skills to become more valuable in the workplace

• 80 per cent of workers said their company’s environmental values are either not aligned or only partially aligned with their own

Megatrends: These are the massive cultural shifts that unfold in real time creating identifiable patterns that can be observed and interacted with as they emerge and evolve to affect society at large. There are several societal level megatrends that are affecting the ways we

October 2020

work and the types of business models that will be successful in the future. These include elements such as climate change adaptation, transition to the circular economy, resource scarcity and worker and supply chain equity and the zero waste movement.

Forces for Change: The Covid-19 crisis is emerging entirely new ways of working, living and doing business. Before this, the foundations for massive disruption were already being laid out for businesses, with several forces of change playing out including Climate change, 2030 Global Goals, The Green Recovery, the 4th industrial revolution towards tech and the global health crisis.

Industry 4.0 We are in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution fuelled by technology. The past three industrial stages of

development started with the mechanicalisation of processes through steam and water to the development of production lines powered by electricity and more recently the introduction of computer aided technology. Now we are moving into Industry 4.0, fuelled by the digital transformation, including artificial intelligence, robotics and networked communication systems.

Exponential changes in technological

development are altering the way we manufacture, produce, and consume goods and operate within the economy, offering significant opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce waste and streamline production processes. Offices, factories, cities and homes are getting ‘smarter’. When designed well, this can lead to significant efficiency, productivity and climate positive gains. This was evidenced by the rapid adoption of at homework and telecommuting required during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Circular Economy The economy is evolving from a linear ‘take, make, waste’ economy to a circular and sustainable one. In response to the global waste and pollution crises, the Circular Economy calls for a total reconstruction of how we design, produce, deliver and discard goods and services that make up the economy. This involves moving from linear production

processes - whereby waste and pollution are inherently built into the provision of goods and services - to a circular system that allows for new business models, design processes and supply chains to cycle resources through well- designed closed-loop systems. Waste is eliminated, resource extraction is reduced and relationships with customers are increased. Products become services and entire value chains are redesigned and managed to eliminate losses, increase and maintain the value of materials extracted from nature, and develop long-term economic gains.

Climate change Humans have long had an obsession with climate tracking the weather. And now, the weather is forcing us to change the way we do things. For much of our history, the ability to predict the weather has helped us build, feed and navigate societal development. The current and predicted changes that will occur this decade if we do not curb global greenhouse gas emissions will make reading the weather take on an entirely new meaning as we see more freak weather events, longer and hotter summers, increased frequency of catastrophes and rising sea levels that impact coastal regions. January 2020 started with the hottest and most intense fires ravaging Australia, following a deadly fire season in California and Europe. The degree of impact to property, the economy, lives and land will depend on the actions taken now to curb carbon, and with nearly all countries in the world ratifying the 2016 Paris Agreement, there is hope that the worst will be avoided and the best brought out in our global community.

2030 Global Goals

The United Nations has marked the end of this decade as the goal post year for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a set of 17 global goals that, if

achieved, will bring about a sustainable and equitable economy. Many companies are adopting the SDGs as

operating guidelines for corporate activity. Despite there still being disconnects between rhetoric and action, there is a strong drive for this decade to be one where global action on sustainable development is made and successes achieved, driven by business leadership. Companies all over the world are now

tracking their performance against the 17 SDGs and reporting on new actions taken to enable the accomplishment of them.

The Green Recovery The Covid-19 fuelled economic crisis will be built on a green recovery plan. This is especially true for the European Union,

as they are driving the campaign to build back better by tying economic incentives to climate- positive actions for a more sustainable and resilient economy. The International Energy Agency,

governments around the world, major corporations and investor groups alike are all spearheading the connection of massive coronavirus stimulus packages as a driving force behind the rapid transition to a green economy. Clean power, electrification of cars, investment in new technology and massive job creation is the goal in achieving an estimated 8 percent drop in carbon emissions in 2020. | 31

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