Plant & Works Engineering
Carbon Trust calls for businesses to adapt or die
Published:  01 April, 2014

A new report examining the need for businesses to urgently assess their exposure to resource challenges in order to future proof their business models in today’s resource-constrained world has been launched by The Carbon Trust.

Business resource challenges such as the increasing scarcity of land, energy, water and materials are quickly intensifying. For example, there could be a 40% gap between available water supplies and water needs by 2030, and some critical materials could be in short supply as soon as 2016. These challenges remain largely unaddressed, leading to disruptions to supply, growing regulatory requirements, volatile fluctuation of prices, and ultimately, threatening the viability of existing business models.

Conversely, businesses that adapt their business models through assessing their exposure to such resource constraints can identify how to manage these risks and exploit commercial opportunities. In turn this will improve efficiency, strengthen long-term resilience, and drive business returns.

For example, there has been extensive analysis of the returns from energy efficiency, which provide a compelling business case for investment. Carbon Trust analysis of energy efficiency measures identified in over 2000 organisations showed an average internal rate of return of over 40%, which compares with 10-15% returns from ‘typical’ business investments.

Tom Delay, Chief Executive at the Carbon Trust, said: “Our report clearly shows that businesses which proactively put sustainability inside their operations have the potential to drive business value by reducing exposure to the resource crunch. To protect our economy, our environment, and the resources available to future generations, we need today’s businesses to recognise the severity of these threats and to adapt their business models for future growth.”

The report analyses the key drivers currently motivating these businesses to become more resource efficient, including competitive differentiation, industry leadership and delivery of savings and new growth opportunities, for example, creating new products that meet evolving consumer demands.

To see the full report please visit: