©David McNew/Getty Images

In this report

Planning is key if access to resources such as food, water, or energy is to be maintained. Companies and investors face the threat of extreme weather events, natural disasters, population pressures and political turmoil. They need manage the risk of possible dislocation of extended supply chains,and think about how to avoid fallout from poor investment decisions.

The unexpected puts paid to the best-laid plans

A wildfire threatens homes in San Marcos, California, on May 15, 2014
©Jorge Cruz/AFP/Getty Image

Companies and investors have to factor in everything from population growth to natural disasters

A member from the oil police force stands guard at Zubair oilfield in Basra, southeast of Baghdad June 18, 2014
©Essam Al-Sudani/Reuters

Fund managers divided over predictions of oil shortages

Under-investment and political instability put price trends in doubt

Climate change moves up investment agenda

Despite pressures to boost short-term performance, funds are recognising the need to move into low-carbon holdings

The Twiga oil well is seen in this undated aerial photograph taken over Twiga, Kenya
©Eduard Gismatullin/Bloomberg

Appetite for Africa’s untapped riches grows despite many hazards

Population growth, global warming and political violence are concerns

An understanding of grey areas is crucial for success in business

Companies may aim to act responsibly, but right versus wrong is often anything but clear-cut


Food producers face growing demands

Rising incomes intensify risks to global supplies

Illegally logged timber, which has been confiscated, is floated down Guamá River in the northeastern state of Para April 14, 2010
©Paulo Santos/Reuters

‘Paradox of poverty’ haunts resource-rich Amazon

Raising beef production is vital to Brazil’s economy but it means more demand for pastureland

An Indian boy plays with a tire on a parched paddy field in Ranbir Singh Pura, about 34 kilometers (21 miles) from Jammu, India, Tuesday, July 15, 2014
©Channi Anand/AP

Innovative solutions required to weather storms and droughts

Growing instability calls for creative new thinking from businesses

Supply chain diversification remains at the heart of reducing the margin for error

Contingency plans and attention to detail help ensure smooth delivery

A worker stands at a desalination plant, 35km south of Riyadh, May 4, 2011
©Channi Anand/AP

Saudi Arabia taps Singapore for desalination technology

The Asian city-state has been using a cheaper membrane technique