GEMI Launches New Project to Look Ten Years Ahead at External Future Forces That Will Disrupt the Business of Sustainability

The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) today announced the launch of a new project focused on External Future Forces That Will Disrupt the Business of Sustainability, in collaboration with the Institute for the Future (IFTF).

In 2007, GEMI worked with IFTF to create a 10-year custom forecast focused on external future forces likely to disrupt sustainability. The forecast was quite accurate and it gave GEMI project members unusual foresight that contributed to their business strategy.

Now, GEMI and IFTF are partnering again to look another ten years ahead at a very different future in a very different world. In this world, it is too late to have just a sustainability strategy. Now, companies must have a strategy that melds sustainability and business. The project will focus on this research question: ‘Over the next ten years, what four or five external future forces are most likely to disrupt the business of sustainability for companies, the industry, and society at large?’

“Through this project, GEMI and IFTF have committed to work together to develop a new custom forecast that will point a ten-year lens on external future forces—including both threats and opportunities—that will disrupt sustainability, with a focus on business choices and business strategy,” said Bill Gill, AVP Sustainability, Smithfield Foods, and GEMI’s Chair.

“Our goal for the project is to use foresight to awaken, engage, and drive change in the present. Urgent future disruptions are looming and this project will provide the grounding to engage with and win through the most important external future forces,” said Bob Johansen, Distinguished Fellow, IFTF.

Current GEMI member companies and project participants committed to participate in this project include: American Forest & Paper Association, Carnival Corp & plc, CBRE, ConocoPhillips, Dell, The Dow Chemical Company, ExxonMobil Chemical, FedEx Corp, Gannett Fleming, Ingersoll Rand, Lockheed Martin, SABIC, Schlumberger, Sealed Air, Smithfield Foods and Waste Management.

To learn more about this GEMI project and opportunities for participation as either a GEMI member or non-member project participant, please contact Kellen Mahoney.

About GEMI 

GEMI ( is a global leader in developing insights, networking, and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business. For 25 years, GEMI has captured the vision and experience of global corporate environmental, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability leaders from diverse business sectors through the development of a wide range of publicly-available, solutions-based tools designed to help companies improve the environment, their operations and add business value.

About Institute for the Future 

Institute for the Future is the world’s leading futures thinking organization. For over 50 years, businesses, governments, and social impact organizations have depended upon IFTF global forecasts, custom research, and foresight training to navigate complex change and develop world-ready strategies. IFTF methodologies and toolsets yield coherent views of transformative possibilities across all sectors that together support a more sustainable future. Institute for the Future is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California.

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