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.

Recommendations:

  • 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

Discussion
Company Prespectives: Managing Climate Risk

 

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