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When talking about the impacts of climate change, few risks are more visceral or tangible than those it poses to future food supply. From spikes in food prices to threats to the coffee industry, consumers are increasingly aware of the effects of rising global average temperatures.

For companies in the food, beverage and tobacco sectors, climate change presents a two-fold challenge: the industry is highly exposed to climate-related impacts, but is at the same time a major contributor to increasing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions levels – particularly from agricultural production, which according to the IPCC causes 10-14% of global GHG emissions.

Water should be high on the agenda of corporates because the future of businesses depends on the sustainability of water resources, which are increasingly under pressure. Clear implications of a water-constrained world include loss of license to operate, increased production costs, tainted brand image and adverse impact on the health of employees and the communities of operations. Despite clear signs of a pending global crisis, only a few large corporates have made addressing the challenge a high priority.