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Expect the Unexpected: Building business value in a changing world

Expect the Unexpected: Building business value in...

Executive Summary


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For 20 years or more the world has recognized that the way we do business has serious impacts on the world around us.

Now it is increasingly clear that the state of the world around us affects the way we do business.

The resources on which business relies are becoming more difficult to access and more costly. Increasing strain on infrastructure and natural systems is likely as patterns of economic growth and wealth change. Physical assets and supply chains will be affected by the unpredictable results of a changing climate. And businesses can expect an ever more complex web of sustainability legislation and fiscal instruments.

But this is not the whole story. The central challenge of our age – decoupling human progress from resource use and environmental decline – can also be one of the biggest sources of future success for business. More corporations are recognizing that there is value and opportunity in a broader sense of responsibility beyond the next quarter’s results; that what is good for people and the planet can also be good for the long term bottom line and shareholder value.

In this report, KPMG’s network of firms analyzes a system of ten sustainability megaforces that will impact each and every business over the next 20 years. These forces do not act alone in predictable ways. They are interconnected. They interact.

It is important for business leaders to understand this system of forces; assess the implications for their own organizations; and devise strategies for managing the risks and harnessing the opportunities. We can never know the future. But it is good business sense to be prepared for the possibilities: to expect the unexpected.

This report cannot provide all the answers, and does not set out to, but it does suggest approaches that we at KPMG believe will help to build business value in a changing world.

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