Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change

Meg Crawford and Stephen Seidel
Posted on: 10/07/2013 -

Posted by

Rachel Gregg

Published

Abstract

Businesses face growing threats from extreme weather and climate change: damage to facilities, loss of water or power supplies, higher costs, and disruption of supply and distribution chains.

In this report, C2ES provides a detailed snapshot of the state of resilience planning among a cross-section of global companies and outlines steps companies can take to better assess and manage their growing climate risks.

The report includes a comprehensive review of resilience practices among S&P Global 100 Index companies and detailed case studies of six companies in diverse sectors: American Water, Bayer, The Hartford Group, National Grid, Rio Tinto and Weyerhaeuser.  It also draws on input from a technical workshop with representatives of a wide range of industries.

Key Findings:

  • Ninety percent of S&P Global 100 Index companies identify extreme weather and climate change as current or future business risks.
  • Almost two-thirds (62 percent) say they are experiencing climate change impacts now, or expect to in the coming decade.
  • Companies are most concerned about the direct impacts of extreme weather on property, production and supplies, and indirect impacts on operational costs, such as higher prices for commodities or insurance.
  • Most companies are managing these risks through existing business continuity and emergency management plans. Only a few have used climate-specific tools to comprehensively assess risks.
  • Most companies (75 percent) also see new opportunities from a changing climate, including drought-resistant crops, storm-resistant building materials, and weather-related insurance products.

Organization(s)

Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, long recognized in the United States and abroad as an influential and pragmatic voice on climate issues.