I was really intrigued by Tesco’s decision to not stock imported goods like Marmite and Ben & Jerry’s after wholesalers hiked up prices by 10%. Your points above about the detrimental impact on the consumer seem quite poignant, and I would surmise that, at a certain point, consumer demand for these brands would result in a market entrant (perhaps a foreign company not facing this price increase from the weakened GBP) willing to provide these goods to UK shoppers with strong taste preferences and brand loyalty. While Tesco may argue it has buying power in this supply chain given its size, it seems they are losing this battle today and being pushed to source locally as a result. I wonder whether Tesco could better defend against the threat of new entrants by passing on the price increase to the end consumer, at least in the short term; even if new entrants come in with lower priced items, shoppers going to Tesco for the rest of their groceries are likely to add these products to their basket even with a price increase. This article from the GSB suggests that that may be especially true for bigger basket shoppers: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/publications/shopping-behavior-consumer-preference-store-price-format.
Given Coca Cola’s dominance in the beverages market, I am not surprised they have a robust sustainability strategy and strong marketing communication about that strategy. One area that does not appear in their GHG Protocol explicitly is its water footprint specifically. Water scarcity over the long-term as a result of climate change is a significant concern on a global scale, and given Coca Cola’s tremendous scale, it should be considering this as being a key part of its span of control and potential contribution to climate change. A paper by A.E. Ercin et al (https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11269-010-9723-8.pdf) assessed the water footprint of a 0.5 liter bottle of a sugar-containing carbonated beverage and demonstrated that the vast majority of this footprint derives from use of water in the supply chain (i.e. for ingredients other than water like sugar, CO2, phosphoric acid, caffeine, vanilla extract and other flavorings, bottle, cap, labeling materials, and packing materials). By undergoing an internal audit to assess their water footprint, Coca Cola could determine even small ingredients that may be dramatically affecting their water footprint, so they can determine appropriate actions to reduce that impact in production.
This paper walks through a number of issues climate change poses to Starbucks’ long-term viability and offers several opportunities for short-, mid- and long-term solutions to adapt to the risks climate change will provide to the business. Most of their current initiatives focus on adaptive responses, which left me to consider: what could Starbucks be doing today or differently in the future to better mitigate the risks of climate change in the first place? Their website’s sustainability page indicates awareness of their contribution to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions, and notes a specific focus on energy conservation and purchase of renewable energy given that over 80% of their GHG emissions are attributable to energy use in their stores, offices, and manufacturing plants. That said, their total emissions increased from 2013 to 2015, with the proportion of its footprint attributable to direct emissions staying flat at around 25%. Their “Energy” page indicates attempts to invest in renewable energy and energy conservation, however I am not convinced that there is real meat behind these words. If they are going to take the future of their business – and our planet – seriously, they will need to do more to convince the public that they are not only adapting to climate change but making attempts to mitigate its impact on earth.
I’m quite impressed by the number of ways Teva has already begun to incorporate digitization into its operations – both at the therapeutic development level and through to drug delivery and compliance. That said, I think Keely’s point about developing predictive analytics is a critical one. I myself am left wondering what Teva is currently doing with all the data it is collecting, particularly through initiatives like the Intel partnership to collect motor control data for Huntington’s patients or other remote monitoring systems; in the absence of a direct tie to automated drug delivery or interpreted meaning for prescribers and care providers, having tons of data feels superfluous. Is Teva using the information it gathers to inform (proactively or otherwise) its supply? I would urge Teva to consider its use of digitization as a means to meaningfully change its supply chain decisions, logistics, and responsiveness to demand, otherwise it could risk what Dr. Daniel Kraft, MD, calls in his 2011 TED Talk, the challenge of the “data explosion.”
This was a very interesting read and relevant issue to consider given the rise of blockchain and its growing number of potential applications. I agree that, for the purposes of accrediting the age, journey, and ownership of a piece of art, blockchain could become an incredibly important disruption to this industry which has relied on human records and appraisals to date. That said, Sotheby’s should use blockchain as a tool to inform its operations, not as a replacement for them. I disagree somewhat with the argument above in that I believe Sotheby’s will continue to provide a critical value-add to art auctioning by leveraging the information from the blockchain to determine the value of a given piece, even after the item has been bought initially; because value changes over time, depending on shifting preferences, new historical learnings, and demand, the blockchain will not inherently capture an appropriate price for a given item. Sotheby’s cites in its online brochure that every item offered for sale at auction is presented with a pre-sale estimate “determined by specialists based on factors like the recent performance of comparable items at auction, overall art market, condition, and rarity”…in addition to provenance. As such, even after a piece has been authenticated for the first time and captured in the blockchain, there will remain a need for the organization’s internal expertise to continue to assess its value for auction.