While I agree with SSSSS and BMC comments around elimination of the market for illegal wildlife goods – perhaps there is a opportunity for the WWF to use technology to help shut these markets. National geographic used GPS trackers in artificial ivory to trace the movement of ivory. Might it be feasible for the WWF to implant some kind of such trackers in the tusks of elephants/other such animals in high risk areas. This could serve as a very effective detterent to poachers and bring the WWF to the forefront of combating the poaching menace.
Koulick – thank you for this thought provoking post. Taking off from Divya’s comment and BMC’s comment on Inter-modal – I wonder how Rivigo can interface with or compete with the Indian Railways. I imagine there would be some very interesting collaboration opportunities between the two – imagine a world where you can ship a container load from point to point and the Rivigo algorithm will customize the most efficient path using a combination of the road and railways. This could also be environmentally efficient given that freighting on rail is generally more sustainable that by truck.
Great post! Who would have thought a Trenchcoat company would be using digital technologies in their retail store. I was wondering what if Burberry could take this technology to their core trenchcoat product – perhaps integrate bluetooth in their coats and have an inbuilt headphone. This is obviously just a simple use case – one could obviously think of cooler applications. While, I don’t think there would be necessarily strong demand for such items – this would be in line with the modern brand image they are trying to communicate. Thoughts?
Vince – great article! Really appreciate the well laid out analysis of how BCG is tackling the digitization problem. While I share some concerns about the brand issues mentioned earlier – what I worry more about is what is BCG’s right to win in this space. If I recollect correctly BCG formed a kind of quasi venture fund in the early 2000’s in partnership with a leading Bank to invest in startups that BCG would then provide consulting services to in return for shares. That venture folded rather quickly and lost a lot of money. Mckinsey also under Rajat Gupta took on startups as clients – and suffered in the Tech bubble. Basically my point here is that historically consulting firms have performed poorly on similar strategies in the past. What is your take on how it is different this time and why DV can be a good bet?
This article was particularly illustrative for someone coming from an emerging market – with little idea of the interesting innovations happening in a crop as mundane as the tomato. I really appreciate the fantastic ideas you propsed – but I was wondering how practical these ideas are in a real world context. For instance the Hydroponic Greenhouses – do you think the they are actually cost competitive or is this just a PR/innovation ploy for Sundrop ? At the broader level – your analysis of the impact of water scarcity was enlightening. Do you think that developed countries like the US have some responsibility to help pass on such innovative water use practices to developing countries that grow a lot of food? This could have a manifold impact on freshwater consumption worldwide.
Great Article – interesting to see how a food company that will be indirectly affected by Climate change is quite adamant on denying the science behind it. As MicMacMan points out – it would be prudent in the company’s interest to quickly start thinking about how farmers would have to react to climate change. I question the premise behind the fact that if Cargill takes a strong position on climate change – it would alienate their farmers. While obviously there will be some reaction to this – I doubt there will be any significant loss of market share. In fact Cargill could take this opportunity to build brand equity and positive image for itself. This could be a great opportunity for the company!
Thank you for teeing up this great question around Uber. While Lindsey brings up a great point about how uber could be supplanting public transport – I wonder if the data supports that point. This 2016 study by the American Public Transportation Association has some interesting findings – “The more people use shared modes, the more likely they are to use public transit”and “Shared modes complement public transit, enhancing urban mobility”. So it seems that even in the short run ride sharing services like Uber could reduce the number of cars on the road and encourage the use of public transport. This of course pre-supposes that Public transportation is run efficiently and has less impact on the environment compared with private transport arrangements.
Interesting industry to consider from a climate change perspective – especially since it as you mentioned a “dirty industry” with no easy solutions. I wanted to follow up on Kelly’s comment to say given their somewhat large scale in the US – and the specific region if Waupaca could try to create an Industry standard program for end users to know that their metal was cast in the most environmentally sustainable way possible. Something like a rainforest alliance certified product – which has now become a common stamp to see from a consumer perspective. I do understand the challenge around this would be the fact that several of the competing foundries are located in emerging markets like China and India – where apart from the lower costs there is arguably less attention paid to the issue of climate change. However,
I think if Waupaca could come across out front on this initiative they could build brand equity and be seen as a pioneer in this field.
Thank you for this interesting article on how a leading utility thinks about climate change. Frankly, I am rather surprised by about how limited PG&E’s response has been to climate change – especially given that PG&E is in arguably the most climate conscious market in the USA – California. It seems their action plan as laid out in this article is big in broad vision while lacking the necessary detail or ambitious goals that could help PG&E stay on top of this issue. Specifically, action plan 1 and 2 talk in broad generalities about energy efficiency programs and developing alternate energy sources. I think if they are serious about these action plans they should set specific numerical targets around this – for eg. to have 50% of their energy generation coming from renewable sources by 2020 etc – following the mold of economies like Germany. This would also be a prudent thing to do from a customer and regulatory perspective – as I see California to be one of the first states likely to implement such mandatory requirements.