Global Challenges and Opportunities

Pollution, population growth, poverty: Our planet faces some big challenges – and innovative products and technologies can provide a solution by improving quality of life while consuming less resources.

What role do global businesses play?

Companies are in a strong position to create shared value. Alongside payments in the form of salaries and taxes, businesses contribute to promoting economic and social development as employers, purchasers and investors. They can also accelerate the transformation to a sustainable economy by creating innovative technologies and products. Imagine the resources that could be saved if every product in every home used less energy or water. Or imagine the reduction in CO2 emissions if every vehicle on the planet was lighter and used less fuel. Resource-efficient solutions can improve the balance between the economic, ecological and social needs of people and the planet – and open up pathways to a sustainable future.

Along global value chains

Businesses are also partnering with governments and non-governmental organizations to support projects that improve income opportunities for people who come into contact with their supply chains – wherever they are in the world. The international development organization Solidaridad, for example, is teaming up with companies to support smallholder farmers of crops like oil palm. This empowers farmers to increase productivity and meet rising expectations for safety and environmental sustainability. It also ensures employment stability and improves livelihoods for workers and their families.