GT Trend Report: Natural Resources
Preparing for natural resource scarcity
By the mid 2030s demand for many resources will substantially exceed what the planet can supply. Water is being called the “new oil” with potential for international conflicts over control of supplies. Metals and food prices have seen sharp increases, driven by long-term trends rather than isolated events, and greater volatility. Energy use continues to rise, even as finding new fossil fuel reserves becomes more costly. Many governments now have targets for the use of renewable energies, with the potential for competition for leadership in these new fields. The environment is under severe pressure from pollution, waste and deforestation, as well as loss of biodiversity. In an age of scarcity, resource-rich countries will have geopolitical and business advantages, while major raw material importers are likely to accelerate investments to secure supplies from resource-rich countries (e.g., in Africa).
Questions for business leaders
- Looking across your entire business system, which natural resources are most critical for your business today? In 5 years? In 10 years? In 15 years?
- How is growing competition for control and access to resources affecting your business in each of these timeframes?
- What do you need to start doing today to be able to do more with less, as natural resource scarcity and price pressures increase? How do you communicate and interact with key stakeholders and companies throughout your business system/network to manage control & access to critical resources?
The GT Trend Report: Natural Resources & Environment offers analysis and food for thought as you tackle these questions