People regularly ask how is the Sustainable X framework different from Net-Zero?
One answer came to me during Steve Forbe’s presentation at the Forbes summit on the Future of Food last week.
The COVID-19 pandemic had shown us how fragile our agriculture and food businesses are, he said. While our desire to innovate was as strong as it ever was, the world’s population will grow by 40 per cent to be more than 10 billion in 2050.
“The challenge is to produce more food, better food and in a more sustainable way,” said Forbes.
Substitute a word that defines your business for “food” three times in that quote, and you have my answer.
The world is far more connected than we often imagine, and the efforts of governments and big industries to make progress on sustainability are going to shape the framework of most enterprises in the future.
For example, challenges like recruiting new talent; Forbes notes that the average age of farmers in the USA has risen from 50 to 58 in the past ten years.
Or of cutting food waste. Losses from transportation issues are estimated to be between $800 million and $1 trillion a year.
Food security used to be a focus on production but was now about a focus on profitability, said US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We need a more resilient system.”
All businesses need to look at their social, environmental and prosperity impacts. The future is coming faster than you think.