5.0 Drivers for Change & The Business Response


As has been argued in previous sessions, sustainability is rapidly emerging as a key driver and influencer of business behaviour. An article in the Harvard Business Review by Prahalad et al (September 2009) proposed that sustainability has now become a major source of innovation:

You can read the full paper here - https://www.acteonline.org/uploadedFiles/Why%20Sustainability%20Is%20Now%20the%20Key%20Driver%20of%20Innovation%20Harvard%20Review.pdf

Earlier this year, KPMG produced a report entitled 'Expect the Unexpected - Building Business Value in a Changing World'. The report identifies and analyses a system of ten sustainability mega forces that will impact each and every business over the next 20 years. KPMG estimated that the cost of environmental damage by business is doubling every 14 years to $854bn or 41% of profits. The conclusion of the report was particularly sombre:

“… if we fail to alter our patterns of production and consumption, things will begin to go badly wrong" (KPMG, 2012).

Activity 5.1 – Mega Trends for Business Sustainability

Access and read the Executive Summary of the KPMG report at https://www.kpmg.com/au/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/pages/expect-the-unexpected-building-business-value-changing-world.aspx.

In your Learning Diary, list the 10 mega forces identified in the report. For each mega force, identify a company whose operations are likely to be impacted directly. For example, water scarcity may impact breweries. As a secondary exercise, identify 1 or 2 actions that companies can take to mitigate or adapt to the mega force in question

This exercise should take about 30 minutes and serves to highlight the potentially far-reaching impacts of environmental and social factors on business.