Sustainability The heat is on
Food systems account for more than one-third of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and it is becoming increasingly urgent that this ratio be dramatically reduced if we’re to have food systems at all. But it’s not easy to turn around a behemoth that accounts for the livelihoods of 500 million farmers, workers, and employees globally. However, as the industry comes under increasing pressure to transform from consumers, investors, regulators and NGOs, McKinsey believes that retailers – with their ubiquity and buying power – are in a unique position to lead the change. To do this, they’ll need to focus on the five sustainability topics that matter – health, the economy, livelihoods, the environment, animal welfare – as well as cross-cutting themes. They’ll also need to understand how a well-positioned sustainability transformation can help them generate value, both by reducing the risks of inaction, and seizing the opportunities sustainability offers. Finally, they need to set up their transformation for success, anchored by a CEO and board who believe in the mission, supported by a dedicated sustainability team, and embedding sustainability in performance of the divisions to ensure accountability.
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