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More to do before ‘perfect storm’

I went back to ‘school’ last month. And, no, the reason was not to see if you can teach an ‘old dog’ new tricks. It was to learn more about sustainability management.

At Currie, we think we’re good at it, and we are. Yet after two weeks of study with the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership I can see how we can do it better. For our clients and ourselves.

That’s the thing about sustainability, it’s a journey, not a destination. This makes it like life-long learning, which together with curiosity, are essential for people to be leaders and champions for sustainability.

At Currie, we talk to clients about embedding sustainability in their organisations. Those who do are future-ready, seize a competitive advantage, and anticipate the growing demands from customers. (We also ‘walk the talk’ on sustainability. For proof, check out our latest report)

Lately, there’s been talk about Australia being ready for the future of food.

At evokeAg 2020 we heard that technological innovation and intensification will drive sustainability and that teens are spending more on food than clothing for the first time.

This week ABARES Outlook will also polish the crystal ball for Australian food and agriculture.

With estimates that the world will need 30% more water, 50% more energy and 50% more food by 2030, already we can see that food and agriculture look set to weather a perfect storm.

The water-food-energy nexus is central to sustainable development. After all agriculture gives us the food that we need, yet it uses 70% of the world’s fresh water.

Climate change interlinks with this nexus. Indeed, a failure to respond to climate change and issues related to global warming, including extreme weather and natural disasters (think #AustralianFires), are rated by world leaders as the top five risks most likely to occur in the next decade.

Scientists warn that the modest uptake of technology, science and practices for growing food under a changing climate means the food production system is not yet ready to weather the perfect storm.

The brewing storm is why a focus on regenerative supply-chains is largely being led by food companies reliant on agriculture with stark climate, soil and water risks. These companies, such as Unilever, Olam and Nestle are first movers on sustainable development out of necessity.

It is also why Currie consults to leaders for sustainability – people and organisations that sustain life on the planet. Our goal is to help create a better, fairer and safer future for all. A future that connects people with food, land and water, the world around them and, ultimately, with one another.

The food and agriculture sectors are working to manage their material sustainability risks, including climate change, food security, safety and integrity, human rights, food waste, waste packaging and deforestation.

We will never stop being curious about how we can help them manage sustainability better.

About Mark Paterson

Mark’s first job was milking cows. An award-winning career in journalism followed. These days when he's not trying to save coral reefs in Indonesia, dreaming about playing tennis on the Masters circuit or raising three kids in a blended family he thrives on consulting work that connects profit with people and planet. The son of corgi breeders, Mark would like to change the world for the better. Read more posts by Mark.

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