Building Resilience to Climate Change
Flooding, heatwaves and drought can disrupt business continuity and community services by interrupting supply chains, damaging property and infrastructure, and affecting working conditions for staff. Food production and the natural environment are also likely to be affected by changing weather patterns and increased episodes of extreme weather. Here are some of the reasons why it's a good idea to consider climate change adaptation in your business planning:
- Being able to deliver your product or service irrespective of extreme weather is good for your reputation and ensures longevity for your business or organisation.
- Planned change is more cost effective and less expensive than last minute, reactive actions. It has been estimated that every £1 spent on adaptation could save £4 in avoided damages. Some changes that can make you more resilient - such as changes to policy or procedures - can be made without any direct costs.
- Incorporating the changing climate into your planning can help you identify new opportunities and challenges. If you fail to spot these, you might find yourself at a disadvantage compared to others in your industry.
- Making changes now helps you to cope better with current extreme weather events as well as future changes in the climate.
- Insurers and investors increasingly require that climate change adaptation is taken into account in business planning.
The Environment Agency website has an extensive section called Climate Ready that provides tools and information to help businesses and other organisations live with the changing climate, now and in the future.
The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) has published a useful guide on 'Climate Change Adaptation - Building the Business Case'.