Monday, April 16, 2007

Climate change: its not all doom and gloom

It is hard to enjoy the unseasonally warm weather here in Amsterdam with all the talk of climate change and its disasterous effects - infact I have heard that if left unchecked the economic impacts will exceed those of the two world wars and the great depression combined. But report released last week by WWF and SustainAbility is quick to point out the enormous business opportunity that lies under the tip of the climate change risk iceburg (pardon the pun).

The report focuses particularly on the housing, transport, and food industries which together place the greatest strain on the earth. We have all heard the risks before:
*increased resource prices
*investment withdrawal
*supply disruptions
*regulatory pressure

This report goes so far as to say that companies that do not begin to operate within the finite limits of the earth will infact be forced out of the market.

But refreshingly, the authors also present an appetizer for those of us trying to convince ourselves that the glass is infact half full. They point to long term, systematic change. Companies not working alone but in groups, consumers taking responsibility and harnessing their purchasing power, and overall new rules of the game that will facilitate the innovation needed to transform the way business creates value and meets human demands.

Is your company on track to be forced out of the market - or to unlock new value in the face of new challenges?

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