Published in The Treasurer
The planet’s resources are under pressure and treasurers need to plan for the worst, says Sally Percy
The world is going to get crowded, a lot more crowded. According to the UN’s State of World Population Report, the planet’s total population will surge to 9.3 billion by 2050 and more than 10 billion by 2100. That’s up from 7 billion today. The trend is likely to be most pronounced in Africa, where the UN expects the population to nearly triple from 1 billion in 2011 to 2.6 billion in 2100.
On the upside, this is good news for companies as it means an expanding market for their goods and services and a pipeline of fresh workers. On the downside, all these people need to eat, drink, work, travel and live somewhere, putting further strain on the planet’s already stretched resources.
The major challenges facing the planet relate to agricultural production, water extraction, climate change and an ever-increasing demand for energy. These affect businesses as much as individuals and they all have an impact on treasury. Treasurers, who are at the forward end of finance and charged with managing the risks their organisations face, need to understand these challenges so that they can plan for them. Today’s challenge could be tomorrow’s crisis.