Three voices on the resource revolution

The historian on resource scarcity: […] you could be paying 100 or 200 percent more for your raw inputs than you were just two and a half years ago. That gives you a sense of the extraordinary time we live in.

The only previous periods I’m aware of when there have been correlated spikes in the prices of nearly all commodities are World War I and World War II. If you were on another planet observing Earth with the assistance of only a Bloomberg screen displaying commodity prices and you had a pretty long-run time series, you would conclude that World War III was in progress right now…”

The CEO on water scarcity: “Industries and businesses should understand that water will become one of the critical elements responsible for ensuring the reliability of their operations. Put simply, if you don’t have reliable access to water, you cannot run any business; and if you are unsure about the reliability of your access to water, then you’ve got a challenge in terms of making investment. Water will ultimately impact the decision-making processes of investors and companies as they decide where to locate their facilities.”

and finally, the VP of environment, health and safety on business strategy:  “One of the first things we did was to establish an environment, health, and policy council at the corporate level, led by Jim [CEO]. That policy council meets twice a year; driving environmental thought into how we run the business comes directly from the CEO. This was always a “we” conversation. This was never “corporate” telling us, “We’ve got to go do this among all the other millions of things we’re doing.” It was, “This is a big risk to our business. And this is something that our CEO considers very important.” We put together a one-page strategy and brought it back to the policy council and said, “This is what we think you’re asking us to do.” Once we had a strategy together, then everybody owned it”

Read the full interviews from McKinsey Quarterly here


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