ESG, RPI and WFH may in each case just be three little letters, but they are hugely significant concepts that had not been at the forefront of our minds for the past few decades. They are now.
At Residential Land, we set out last year to calculate our carbon footprint, reduce it and offset it. It seemed the correct thing to do not just because of the move towards social governance but for our children and the planet they will live on.
Our new team produced endless amounts of data before the figures were analysed. Just at the point where clarity was reachable, our head of sustainability left the firm to carry out a six-month project counting orangutans in the rainforest. Her guidance was hugely valuable as she passionately believed in the cause.
In the end, 82% of our carbon footprint was removable not by planting trees or seagrass or carbon sequestration but by moving to renewable energy suppliers and changing our vehicle fleet to electric.
We are not fully there yet, but we encourage any business to carry out a similar exercise and to maintain high standards of openness in so doing. The costs are minimal and the advantages priceless.
As we all work towards EPC targets and ESG goals, there are other benefits. Compliant funding is a good example of reduced rate debt and equity if the badge and the calculations justify. This will become more important in 2022 and beyond.
Inflation is here to stay. In particular this limited resource of renewable energy needs massive investment to meet its potential demand, which will affect energy pricing sooner rather than later as will our isolationist position with Europe.
For many years, we have believed the French way of life is something very special; how we have managed to tear up the entente cordiale is a red mark in the PM’s copybook.
We can see justification in the prediction that Boris Johnson will not last, not because forces are against him for their own purposes but because he decides to move on from a thankless job (mostly driven by those with their own agenda), which will only get worse as this pandemic continues to wreak havoc.
True Conservative values do not require dictatorships. The calibre of a person can normally be measured by the people around them and what they say in regard to their friendships.
The standard of comment around and about the PM is at a concerning low, unfairly for sure, particularly as no good deeds go unpunished. Politicians should be able to manage their own image better if they are to hold the highest office in the land.
WFH will gain momentum and become a political ping-pong ball at election time. It will represent the single-largest fall in productivity the UK has seen in many years, although all of our lives may be more enjoyable. This year, we are going to focus on staff unity; disconnection is poison for a business and WFH creates that.
London will boom as the global demand for its lifestyle supports its economy and the level-headed Michael Gove gets to grips with his job even if for a short time before another change.
For those who got away before the fresh restriction chaos, we congratulate your logistical skills.
For those who had to adapt to a stay-at-home Christmas and New Year, we hope you had a well-deserved break.
Bruce Ritchie is chief executive and founder of Residential Land