Future Proofing our business means making them resilient to the changes that are happening around us. In the future, many of these changes in external factors have the ability to apply severe pressure on our abilitly to be sustainable.

Mitigation or Adaptation?

Using the knowledge gained through our Strategic Stakeholder Engagement with experts around the world, we must decide: how can we help mitigate global problems by improving our performance? An example of this would be reducing our own CO2 emissions by investing in both efficiency improvements and changes to our energy matrix.

Failure of everyone to do so means that we will have to adapt to a new external environment. In the past, potential consequences have often been covered by insurance, but these global issues are uninsurable. If we run out of water due to the effects of climate change, then no insurer will pay us compensation for our inability to operate. It is up to us to make our businesses sustainable and resilient to these external factors.


Even with the knowledge gained from experts, there is no certainty, only trends and statistics on which we have to base our decisions. To help us handle this uncertainty we use a technique called Scenario Planning. Here, we look at external trends and create feasible scenarios for the world that we might find ourselves operating in.

We stress test our current strategy and look for improvements that are applicable in all scenarios being common; they should be adopted. There are some subjects that we feel are currently weak signals on the horizon, that could become major disruptors, e.g. a new technology like 3D printing. Even if these subjects are not common to all scenarios, a small investment to learn more about them in case they become major disruptors is a worthwhile investment.

By augmenting our traditional analysis with the results of our scenario planning exercises, we are able to take better investment decisions and can prepare to cover more alternatives. It still remains true, however, that any business that cannot afford to transform and adapt to these changes in external factors will be unsustainable. Those businesses that survive will have less competition and a greater opportunity to thrive in a sustainable world.

Past 2030 and on to 2050

Since this is not a process of luck, rather one of good analysis and judgment, it is logical that the best management teams will guide their companies in a way that ensures that they remain in business past 2030 and on to 2050, i.e. good management teams build sustainable businesses. Developing these new analytical capabilities with the knowledge of what is happening outside our boundaries is critical to the long-term sustainability of our businesses.

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