Unlocking business opportunities to accelerate sustainable & inclusive growth
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission, a consortium launched in January 2016 of senior business leaders seeking to accelerate business models for a sustainable economy, has published a report. The report shows that meeting the challenges of the food and agriculture sectors sustainably could unlock 14 major business opportunities worth US$2.3 trillion annually by 2030. Each opportunity has an estimated value range: from cattle intensification where sustainable improvements could increase value by US$15 billion a year, to reducing food waste in value chains worth US$405 billion to the private sector.
With an annual investment of US$320 billion, fully pursuing these sustainable opportunities would deliver a 7-fold return on investment. These opportunities could help meet the serious challenges in the sectors. The current global food and agriculture system is at a critical juncture as growth rates in yields decline below continued growth in population, and as pressures on natural capital – on both land and in the oceans – continue to intensify. While many people are eating better than ever, over 800 million people are under-nourished, and 165 million children who suffer from stunting and a growing obesity epidemic. In rural economies, over 1.5 billion smallholder farmers are still living at or below the poverty line. And competing demands for land – for food, feed, fuel and forestry product – is causing an immense pressure on forests and other natural habitats, not only contributing to greenhouse gas emissions but also to the current wave of species extinction.