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2022 ESG Trends to Watch

As we look at the ESG trends to watch for the coming year, we must also ask: What will the coming decade bring? Over the 10 years we’ve been issuing this report, climate change has come to surpass corporate governance as the most pressing ESG issue, and ESG investing truly has gone mainstream (and is attracting the regulatory attention to prove it). Yet there are new risks emerging for companies, investors and the planet in the coming decade that will test how well we have learned the lessons of the past.

One such test will involve biodiversity and the future of food. Simply put, if we don’t drastically change food production and eating habits, climate change and biodiversity loss will change them for us. Either way, the food and agriculture industries are in for a radical reshaping.

Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss Threaten Staples and Luxuries Alike

Source: Pollinator extinction; Ritchie, Hannah. “How much of the world’s food production is dependent on pollinators?” Our World in Data, Aug. 2, 2021; "The global assessment report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services." IPBES, 2016. Water Scarcity: World Resources Institute Aqueduct Food tool, wri.org. Soil Erosion: “Let’s #StopSoilErosion to ensure a food secure future.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, May 15, 2019; Cat, Linh Anh, “Soil Erosion Washes Away $8 Billion Annually.” Forbes.com, May 21, 2019.

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