Four Ways to Energize a Post-Pandemic Workforce
The pandemic has put the workforce through the wringer, and shifted priorities for both employees and employers alike.
But as the world starts to look towards future growth and economic recovery, it’s important to recognize that each segment of the workforce has their own diverse needs.
Drawing from a year-long survey of 1,000+ full-time employees, PwC highlights the four biggest back-to-work priorities and challenges that employers must address to retain and recharge the workforce. We’ll also dive into some demographic gaps that emerge.
1. Physical Safety Remains #1
Almost half (48%) of employees felt that they were forced to sacrifice personal safety in order to remain employed throughout the pandemic. Women felt these effects even more strongly—60% said that feeling physically unsafe due to COVID-19 was distracting to their work.
Luckily, things took a turn for the better over the course of the year.
- In June 2020: Only 33% of employees felt safe working on-site based on the modifications their company made
- By May 2021: 73% of employees would feel comfortable attending a 10-person meeting in a conference room
Even with rising confidence to return to work safely, employers must do all they can to put their employees’ health first and bring this share back up to 100%.
2. Mental Health on the Mind
Shared feelings of isolation during the pandemic translated into a growing call for mental health support from employees.
Yet, while 84% of CFOs thought their company had successfully addressed employee wellness, only 31% of employees felt the same. Remote workers and women felt even more disconnected:
- 27%: Remote workers
- 26%: Women aged 18-34
- 22%: Women aged 35-44
This stark difference in perceptions suggests that leaders may not be rolling out enough support for these intangible impacts of COVID-19—or they aren’t thoroughly communicating all the resources available.
3. Time Matters Most—Even Above Pay
With lines between work and play being blurred in remote working environments, employees are beginning to value their free time more than a rise in salary. In fact, 54% expressed that receiving an extra week of paid time off would enrich their life the most in 2021.
Younger generations in particular feel strongly about this flexibility. A significant share are willing to swap the opportunity for a higher pay grade for the ability to work virtually from almost anywhere:
- 45%: Gen Z
- 47%: Millennial
- 38%: Gen X
- 14%: Baby Boomers
Similar trade-offs were expressed with the offer of more non-monetary perks, such as: the opportunity to learn new skills, unlimited sick time, flexible work hours, and remote work options.
4. See Me, Hear Me
Above all, employees feel the desire to be included and their concerns heard. Only 35% think that their company has effectively created an inclusive work environment for them and their colleagues, and this gap deepens with specific concerns around workload.
|Women (Aged 35-44)||All surveyed employees|
|% that say an unmanageable|
workload impacts their productivity
|% that feel unable to ask for help |
managing work stress
Women especially face extra barriers compared to their counterparts, and seek more personalized support for their workplace struggles.
Working Together To Get Back to Normal
The pandemic turned the world upside down. This also means that “normal” no longer resembles what it used to be, and the days of one-size-fits-all solutions are over.
To attract the brightest talent and drive growth, employers must understand what the diverse workforce needs—and step up to empower them.
Find out how PwC is reimagining work in 2021 and beyond.
Ranked: Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities
Roughly 25% of all GHG emissions come from electricity production. See how the top 30 IOUs rank by emissions per capita.
Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities
Approximately 25% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) come from electricity generation.
Subsequently, this means investor-owned utilities (IOUs) will have a crucial role to play around carbon reduction initiatives. This is particularly true for the top 30 IOUs, where almost 75% of utility customers get their electricity from.
This infographic from the National Public Utilities Council ranks the largest IOUs by emissions per capita. By accounting for the varying customer bases they serve, we get a more accurate look at their green energy practices. Here’s how they line up.
Per Capita Rankings
The emissions per capita rankings for the top 30 investor-owned utilities have large disparities from one another.
Totals range from a high of 25.8 tons of CO2 per customer annually to a low of 0.5 tons.
|Utility||Emissions Per Capita (CO2 tons per year)||Total Emissions (M)|
|Berkshire Hathaway Energy||14.0||57.2|
|American Electric Power||9.2||50.9|
|Florida Power and Light||8.0||41.0|
|Portland General Electric||7.6||6.9|
|Pacific Gas and Electric||0.5||2.6|
|Next Era Energy Resources||0||1.1|
PNM Resources data is from 2019, all other data is as of 2020
Let’s start by looking at the higher scoring IOUs.
TransAlta emits 25.8 tons of CO2 emissions per customer, the largest of any utility on a per capita basis. Altogether, the company’s 630,000 customers emit 16.3 million metric tons. On a recent earnings call, its management discussed clear intent to phase out coal and grow their renewables mix by doubling their renewables fleet. And so far it appears they’ve been making good on their promise, having shut down the Canadian Highvale coal mine recently.
Vistra had the highest total emissions at 97 million tons of CO2 per year and is almost exclusively a coal and gas generator. However, the company announced plans for 60% reductions in CO2 emissions by 2030 and is striving to be carbon neutral by 2050. As the highest total emitter, this transition would make a noticeable impact on total utility emissions if successful.
Currently, based on their 4.3 million customers, Vistra sees per capita emissions of 22.4 tons a year. The utility is a key electricity provider for Texas, ad here’s how their electricity mix compares to that of the state as a whole:
|Energy Source||Vistra||State of Texas|
Despite their ambitious green energy pledges, for now only 1% of Vistra’s electricity comes from renewables compared to 24% for Texas, where wind energy is prospering.
Based on those scores, the average customer from some of the highest emitting utility groups emit about the same as a customer from each of the bottom seven, who clearly have greener energy practices. Let’s take a closer look at emissions for some of the bottom scoring entities.
Utilities With The Greenest Energy Practices
Groups with the lowest carbon emission scores are in many ways leaders on the path towards a greener future.
Exelon emits only 3.8 tons of CO2 emissions per capita annually and is one of the top clean power generators across the Americas. In the last decade they’ve reduced their GHG emissions by 18 million metric tons, and have recently teamed up with the state of Illinois through the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Through this, Exelon will receive $700 million in subsidies as it phases out coal and gas plants to meet 2030 and 2045 targets.
Consolidated Edison serves nearly 4 million customers with a large chunk coming from New York state. Altogether, they emit 1.6 tons of CO2 emissions per capita from their electricity generation.
The utility group is making notable strides towards a sustainable future by expanding its renewable projects and testing higher capacity limits. In addition, they are often praised for their financial management and carry the title of dividend aristocrat, having increased their dividend for 47 years and counting. In fact, this is the longest out of any utility company in the S&P 500.
A Sustainable Tomorrow
Altogether, utilities will have a pivotal role to play in decarbonization efforts. This is particularly true for the top 30 U.S. IOUs, who serve millions of Americans.
Ultimately, this means a unique moment for utilities is emerging. As the transition toward cleaner energy continues and various groups push to achieve their goals, all eyes will be on utilities to deliver.
The National Public Utilities Council is the go-to resource to learn how utilities can lead in the path towards decarbonization.
The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet
The U.S. alone generates ∼12 million tons of asphalt shingles tear-off waste and installation scrap every year and more than 90% of it is dumped into landfills.
The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet
Asphalt, also known as bitumen, has various applications in the modern economy, with annual demand reaching 110 million tons globally.
Until the 20th century, natural asphalt made from decomposed plants accounted for the majority of asphalt production. Today, most asphalt is refined from crude oil.
This graphic, sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies, shows how new technologies to reuse and recycle asphalt can help protect the environment.
The Impact of Climate Change
Pollution from vehicles is expected to decline as electric vehicles replace internal combustion engines.
But pollution from asphalt could actually increase in the next decades because of rising temperatures in some parts of the Earth. When subjected to extreme temperatures, asphalt releases harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere.
|Emissions from Road Construction (Source)||CO2 equivalent (%)|
|Excavators and Haulers||16%|
Asphalt paved surfaces and roofs make up approximately 45% and 20% of surfaces in U.S. cities, respectively. Furthermore, 75% of single-family detached homes in Canada and the U.S. have asphalt shingles on their roofs.
Reducing the Environmental Impact of Asphalt
Similar to roads, asphalt shingles have oil as the primary component, which is especially harmful to the environment.
Shingles do not decompose or biodegrade. The U.S. alone generates ∼12 million tons of asphalt shingles tear-off waste and installation scrap every year and more than 90% of it is dumped into landfills, the equivalent of 20 million barrels of oil.
But most of it can be reused, rather than taking up valuable landfill space.
Using technology, the primary components in shingles can be repurposed into liquid asphalt, aggregate, and fiber, for use in road construction, embankments, and new shingles.
Providing the construction industry with clean, sustainable processing solutions is also a big business opportunity. Canada alone is a $1.3 billion market for recovering and reprocessing shingles.
Northstar Clean Technologies is the only public company that repurposes 99% of asphalt shingles components that otherwise go to landfills.
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