Steve Starbuck of Ernst & Young posted an interesting note today from the World Economic Forum on "the sustainable link between scarcity of resources and innovation." At the Forum, Starbuck listened to leaders from China talk about using innovation to achieve sustainable development while balancing energy conservation, emissions reduction, and environmental protection with meeting demand for power, water and other resources. He identified business opportunities, particularly greening supply chains and viewing waste as a resource businesses can use to generate more value. He concluded that, "A company or government's ability to innovate to overcome a scarcity of natural resources is a key differentiator between organizations that manage climate change and sustainability risks effectively and those that do not." We agree, though were talking here about resource security. You should be concerned not with the scarcity of a resource, but your company's security in having a future supply of that resource or a viable substitute. The supply of resources is sometimes predictable and measurable; that's what we think of when we consider whether something is abundant or scarce. But supply - and price - is subject to unpredictable changes, such as conflict in a major production area or new uses that drastically change demand or price. Something that seemed abundant yesterday might suddenly become scarce today. That's why we're seeing more companies becoming actively involved shaping the production of raw materials and securing future supplies of those resources in their supply chain . It's also why we're seeing more innovation in developing sustainable resources for supply chains.
Viewing entries tagged