ADAPTATION IN BUSINESS
It is worth preparing your business for the likely future climate conditions. There will be benefits as well as challenges from the new climate. Your business may be able to develop new markets from changing consumer demand. There could be the potential of disruption to supply chains and threats to infrastructure from flooding or storm damage which could harm your business.
It is predicted that our winters will get milder and wetter and our summers drier and hotter. There will be increases in the frequency of extremes of weather that could cause flooding, drought and heat waves. The first step for any business is to assess where your current business is vulnerable.
Risk assessment methodologies can help to identify the risks that climate change could present to your business and quantify them. By identifying any high risks to your business, you can make preparations to minimise these and limit the consequences.
Another tool is business continuity planning. This is a process that can help to manage the risks that can threaten the survival of your business. The Sussex Local Authority Emergency Planning Group suggests that 50% of businesses that have such a plan in place survive a major disaster. The Council’s website contains information on this and has a template to help you draw up a plan.
The UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) produces information on future climate conditions and advice to different sectors on how to adapt. It has produced a Business Areas Climate Impacts Assessment Tool (BACLIAT) to assist businesses. This is aimed at SMEs and is a simple checklist for assessing the impacts of climate change, under a number of headings.
A more extensive approach would be to draw up an adaptation strategy. UKCIP has developed the Adaptation Wizard. This is a tool to help you to identify options to address your key climate risks, and help you to develop a climate change adaptation strategy.