Building business value in a changing world

In this new report, KPMG explains the 10 megaforces that are rapidly increasing the costs of doing business, as well as looking at how they interact, how they apply to specific sectors and what businesses and governments can do about them.

The megaforces include climate change, energy and fuel, material resource scarcity, water scarcity, population growth, wealth, urbanization, food security, ecosystem decline and deforestation. KPMG culled those 10 trends from looking at more than two dozen forecasts from other agencies and think tanks.

Putting environmental impacts in dollar figures, KPMG says external environmental costs - which are typically not listed on financial statements since the costs are borne by society in general, non-monetary and difficult to quantify - have risen 50 percent from 2002 to 2010 for 11 industry sectors.

Over those eight years, costs went from $566 billion to $846 billion, and if they steadily increase, they'll be on target to double over a 14-year period.

"The resources on which businesses rely will become more difficult to access and more costly. There will be increasing strain on infrastructure and natural systems as patterns of economic growth and wealth change. Physical assets and supply chains will be affected by the unpredictable results of a warming world. And businesses will be confronted with an ever more complex web of legislation and fiscal instruments," say KPMG International chairman Michael Andrew and KPMG special global advisor Yvo de Boer in the report.

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