Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change

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 a major report, Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change, 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.

Click above to see our infographic, with key takeaways

Click here to view the infographic as a PDF

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.


  • Create a clearinghouse for reliable, up-to-date data and analytical tools. Companies need user-friendly, localized projections of climate changes and models that link projections to impacts that matter most.
  • Invest in public infrastructure resilience. Roads, bridges, ports, and other public resources used to transport goods and services to market must withstand extreme weather and climate impacts.
  • Consider resilience needs in regulation. Companies in regulated sectors, such as water, electricity, and insurance need regulators to be forward-looking and open to companies making the case for more spending on resilience.
  • Set up voluntary, public-private partnerships.  Bring together government and business expertise to improve resilience planning.

Additional Resources:

C2ES would like to acknowledge Bank of America for its collaboration and generous financial support.


Video of our July 17, 2013, launch event

Introduction and high-level discussion

Discussion on emerging business resilience practices


Video of our Sept. 23, 2013, event at Climate Week NYC

Opening Remarks

Company Prespectives: Managing Climate Risk


Video of our Nov. 18, 2013, side event at the UN climate talks in Warsaw


Report Launch: Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) releases a new report, "Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change," which explores the extent to which companies consider their vulnerabilities to a changing climate, and how those considerations may be incorporated into business planning and decision-making. C2ES President Eileen Claussen will lead a CEO-level conversation and Janet Peace, C2ES Vice President for Market and Business Strategies, will lead a discussion of individual case studies. 

Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change

July 17, 2013 | Washington, DC

Eileen Claussen
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Panel I: Extreme Weather and Climate Change: Growing Risks to Business

Jeffry E. Sterba
President & Chief Executive Officer, American Water

Thomas B. King
Executive Director & President, National Grid US

Moderated by:
Eileen Claussen
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Panel II:  Emerging Business Practices in Building Resilience

Jeff Williams
Director of Climate Consulting, Entergy

Jay Bruns
Vice President for Public Policy, The Hartford

Jeffrey Hopkins
Policy Adviser, Economics & Environment, Rio Tinto

Sara Kendall
Vice President Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Weyerhaeuser Company

Moderated by:
Janet Peace
Vice President for Market and Business Strategies, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions


Janet Peace
Vice President for Market and Business Strategies, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Leveraging Natural Gas Webinar Series

C2ES held a series of webinars from June-August 2013 to explore sector-specific opportunities for low-emitting natural gas use. Slides and video from the webinars are available below.

  • Manufacturing: June 26, Bruce Hedman, Technical Director, Institute for Industrial Productivity. View slides here.
  • Transportation: July 10, Susan Robinson, Federal Public Affairs Director, Waste Management. View slides here.
  • Power: August 7, Branko Terzic, Executive Director, Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions. View slides here.
  • Buildings: August 14, Tom Massaro, Vice President - Marketing and Business Intelligence, New Jersey Natural Gas. View slides here.

Leading by Example 2.0: How Information and Communication Technologies Help Achieve Federal Sustainability Goals






Read the Report



As the nation’s largest landlord, employer, fleet operator, and purchaser of goods and services, the federal government has the opportunity, if not the responsibility, to lead by example in moving our country in a more economically efficient and environmentally sustainable direction. Faced with tightening budgets, agencies are looking for new ways to reduce costs and increase productivity, while at the same time meeting a growing list of congressional and executive mandates to consume less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Jason Ye
Stephen Seidel

The New York Times Energy for Tomorrow Conference: Building Sustainable Cities

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
Judi Greenwald speaks about enhanced oil recovery using captured carbon dioxide April 25 in New York City at The New York Times Energy for Tomorrow Conference: Building Sustainable Cities.

Super Bowl XLVII: Playing Offense on Clean Energy

An estimated 111 million people across the United States watched at least part of last year's Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. It was the most-watched event in U.S. TV history.

For those of us seeking to engage the public in the work of building a clean-energy future, sporting events offer a unique opportunity to reach the public. This year, for example, C2ES has teamed up with Entergy Corporation and the New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee to launch a fun, environment-themed website and contest for NFL fans.

Patience and policy needed on drive toward sustainability

I recently responded to a question on the National Journal blog, "What 's holding back electric cars?"

You can read more on the original blog post and other responses at the National Journal.

Here is my response:

An energy solution with true bipartisan support

Two out of three respondents in a new University of Texas poll said energy issues are important to them. But the harsh rhetoric of campaign season makes it seem like politicians can never agree on important policies needed to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy while also protecting the environment.

Well they can, and they did. Right now in Washington, D.C., we have a bipartisan bill that would reduce carbon emissions and develop domestic energy resources.

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