BUSINESSES must recognise the severity of operating in a resource constrained environment and adapt their business models for future growth, according to a new report from the Carbon Trust.
The report urges businesses to “prioritise resource efficiency or risk getting left behind”.
It suggests that business resource challenges such as the increasing scarcity of land, energy, water and materials are intensifying, highlighting that there could be a 40% gap between available water supplies and water needs by 2030.
The report also suggests some critical materials could be in short supply as soon as 2016.
According to the Carbon Trust, 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.
In contrast, companies which adapt their business models through assessing their exposure to such resource constraints can identify how to manage these risks and exploit commercial opportunities.
Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay, said: “Our report shows that businesses which proactively put sustainability inside their operations have the potential to drive value by reducing exposure to the resource crunch.
The report also highlights best practice, pointing out major UK companies BT and Whitbread as businesses proactively assessing their exposure to resource constraints.
It finds that these organisations are bringing bottom line improvements through efficiency gains, and are also expected to have long term advantages far outweighing the more immediate costs.