This is an interesting topic with relevance to a massive range of companies of all sizes. This case brings the complexity of healthcare as well, but I wonder if that may actually benefit Hubble. Hubble’s website suggests that they had selected St. Shine because it was a respected supplier that already had FDA approval. The fact that St. Shine secured this approval suggests that they have likely had interest from other US companies who may also be able to go to bat to preserve the trade relationship or prevent high tariffs. In the short-term however, the plan for Hubble to explore and secure a more diversified supply chain should be a priority.
The success of this strategy appears to rely heavily on capital expenditures from the Nigerian government. Improvement of roads, infrastructure, and agriculture will be essential to a developed export market, yet Nigeria’s reliance on oil income implies that it has initiated this movement in a time when available capital is limited. I suspect that there may be risk of future delays and pauses to development progress with the volatility of oil futures throughout the project lifetime, and this may force Unilever to take on greater capital outlays than they may expect in order to support progress when the government is unable. Separately, global warming creates new challenges of growing seasons and irrigation, which may add further risk to this local supply chain.
It is encouraging to see that distilleries are willing to invest in and embrace new technologies to help reduce their carbon footprints.
As mentioned, the beer brewing industry has issues with negative environmental impacts as well. England’s Purity Brewing Co. has in fact made recent efforts toward recycling water and steam byproducts back through the production ecosystem. Additionally, they are committed to reusing hops and grains by feeding them to livestock or even turning the waste into fertilizer for future crops. In industries so dependent on fresh raw inputs, recycling byproducts seems like the obvious first step. Water demand alone is likely to prove itself as the greatest challenge.
This is a very important topic, and I am curious to see how synthetic fibers gain traction and what climate impacts may stem from developing these new materials.
I agree with Marc’s view that large corporations have an obligation to react to climate change as broadly as they are able. Nike has been consuming cotton for decades, and even if they stop consuming fresh raw materials entirely, there is substantial impact from other components of the supply chain. Nike maintains a complex manufacturing system, which feeds into a massive transportation network, both of which rely upon fossil fuels to deliver inventory to retailers. The breadth of investment in climate change mediation by a manufacturing company cannot be capped at raw material efficiency, but rather should include clean automobiles and other clean energy sources.
As CVS Health and other healthcare providers begin to test the digital waters, I suspect that another opportunity for consumer touch points is with drug compliance. Beyond the supply chain efforts, a major challenge for the healthcare industry is enforcing the routine and compliance of prescription medications without which a patient will see worse health outcomes. The cost to payors and providers of non-compliance is massive, especially as uncontrolled chronic disease can result in preventable hospital expenses. I would not be surprised to see CVS seek out competitive edge over Amazon with value-add digital services that provide reminders and compliance tracking.
Coca-Cola’s 1982 smart vending machine is commonly considered one of the first true IoT implementations. Given this, I see Coca-Cola’s move into IoT as opportunity to develop their legacy in this space. While there is risk that IoT technologies can become obsolete quickly, most developers are moving toward standardized networks with common protocols and spectrum, such as LPWA. This suggests that technology should be possible to manage into generational upgrades such that a single IoT technology can be maintained beyond its payback period and then updated or replaced without significant network interference. If Coca-Cola can align on a vision for a connected supply chain and a commitment to executive involvement in privacy, they are absolutely capable of a successful IoT strategy implementation.