At the dawn of agriculture roughly 10,000 years ago (c. 8,000 B.C.), the world population was approximately 5 million people. Between 8,000 B.C. and the dawn of the industrial revolution (c. 1800), the population reached 1 billion. Where it had taken the totality of human history to reach the first billion, the second billion came in only 130 years (1930). The third billion came even quicker, taking less than 30 years to arrive (1959). Today, just 56 years later, the global population has more than doubled to 7.39 billion. By 2050, the United Nations projects that the there will be an astounding 9.7 billion hungry mouths to feed on our planet. Without meaningful advancements in food production, water conservation and energy efficiencies, our planet is in real trouble.
Feeding 9.7 billion people will place an unprecedented strain on our planet’s natural and capital resources. Today, agriculture already uses approximately 70% of the available freshwater on the planet and we still have almost 800 million undernourished people in our global community.
In order to adequately feed our current population as well as the 2.5 billion new individuals we are expecting, we will need to dramatically increase our global food production, and do so in sustainable ways. New farmland will need to come into production and these farms will compete with the rapidly expanding cities for every inch of space. In addition to new production, greater efficiencies will need to be achieved, both in overall crop yields but also their water footprint – “crop-per-drop”. Finally, it will be necessary to address the energy intensity of our food production methods and supply chains, which today accounts for 30% of the world’s total energy consumption. More food will certainly require more water and energy.
No single company or organization will ever have all of the answers we will need to achieve an adequate level of security for our food, water and energy resources. To face this challenge will require new and innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships, new technological advances and a tremendous amount of capital.
Moreland Advisors is doing its part, working with stakeholders across the food-water-energy nexus to identify and accelerate new technologies, capital structures and partnership models. We then bring these three disparate sectors together to engage in collaborative, transparent ways to meet our food, water and energy production challenges.
For Investors: Moreland Advisors uses its leading research capabilities to identify key trends and drivers that will impact the investing landscape going forward. We then work with our funding and investor clients to develop strategies that will identify and capture future opportunities, manage and mitigate potential risks, as well as monitor and verify the impacts from executed investments. Whether you are an impact investor, a venture philanthropist, or just want to protect your portfolio from food, water or energy security related issues, Moreland Advisors has the deep expertise to help develop a risk appropriate strategy for you.
For Organizations: Food, water and/or energy security and the surrounding issues have the ability to either be a threat or an opportunity for most organizations. Some will prosper by recognizing and pursuing the opportunities. Others may be blind to the emerging risks and suffer costly consequences. Moreland Advisors works with our organizational clients to makes sure that they fully understand and have managed the risks and are positioned to capture new promising opportunities. We work with them to ensure that they have the market knowledge, organizational capabilities and capital structures in place to execute on new opportunities, grow their sustainable value chain and shelter operations from future risks and shocks.
For Communities and NGO’s: If the issues related to food production, pollution and the related land use conflicts haven’t affected your community, or those that you work with, yet, they most likely will soon. Moreland Advisors works with community leaders and NGO’s to develop actionable strategies that encourage and facilitate sustainable agriculture growth, water conservation and renewable energy production at the local level. Creative partnerships with producers working collaboratively with local governmental leaders have the potential to reduce pollution loads, create well paying jobs and drive economic and community development. Moreland has the insights and experience to help put those partnerships in place, ensure they are well capitalized, and monitor and measure their community impacts.