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Resource revolution: Meeting the world’s energy, materials, food, and water needs

In the 20th century, governments and businesses didn’t have to worry about resource productivity; they were able to focus on capital and labor instead. Over the next 20 years, resources needs to be put at the heart of public policy and business strategy.

A joint report by the McKinsey Global Institute and McKinsey’s Sustainability & Resource Productivity Practice shows that resource challenge can be met through a combination of expanding their supply and a step change in the way they are extracted, converted, and used. Resource productivity improvements that use existing technology would satisfy nearly 30 per cent of demand in 2030. Fifteen areas, from more energy-efficient buildings to improved irrigation, could deliver 75 per cent of the potential for higher resource productivity.

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