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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Climate strategy: road-map to a strategic mega opportunity
Article Type: Foreword From: Strategic Direction, Volume 24, Issue 6.
Climate change is the apex of a whole range of issues which will be crucial for our planet’s future and for the generations to come ranging from the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources, peak oil, the exponential problem of waste, the population explosion.
Therefore in addressing the problem of climate change, businesses could address a number of strategic but inter-related issues at the same time. The exponential problem of waste, the population explosion and unsustainable use of our planet’s scarce resources through an industrial world powered largely by dirty fossil fuels that emits billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases and toxic materials (such as mercury) into the air, land and water is unsustainable in any shape or form for our planet and its citizens and therefore at the heart of the problems of climate change. Therefore in facing a low carbon or zero carbon economy, one also need to address these strategic issues and the strategic opportunities that will result.
It is my view that the mega opportunities in the next 50-100 years will be the ones that address these inter-related problems. In intelligently designing goods that are “earth-to-earth” (not a one-way traffic from “earth-to-landfill”), we are moving away from the fossil fuel-led carbon production machine of the past and the present while moving towards a sustainable route map to the future.
In tomorrow’s carbon constrained world, business as usual is a dangerous place. Corporate leaders desperately need to internalize the message of the future carbon and resource-constrained society. Businesses today reside on the platform of an impressive infrastructure built on fossil fuels and carbon. Beneath the carbon footprint of the world’s major corporations, the foundations of the earth that they have taken for granted are disintegrating.
Visionary business leaders realize that major industrial change is inevitable a roadmap is needed to cross the chasm to a low or zero carbon economy. They realize that a new strategic vision is necessary, but even these innovative business leaders are struggling to visualize what it could mean for them. More tellingly, less innovative companies have not yet even realized that they need an exit route out of the carbon economy. Addressing the key ecological and environmental challenges via a comprehensive climate strategy is a key plank of the strategic vision going forward.
This will only be a beginning. The impending Industrial Revolution that will move us away from a fossil fuel system to a zero carbon and resource constrained one requires energy, genius and creativity from all sectors of business from all nations. The prize is a huge one for businesses that are ready to prosper in the new world. Visionary CEOs must reach for nothing less.