Adapting to climate change in your business
The potential impacts of climate change on our businesses may include:
- Damage to our buildings and offices resulting in financial costs
- Disruption to transport leading to delays in deliveries and staff being unable to get to work affecting customer service
- Reduced productivity of outdoor and indoor workers in heat waves Health impacts on staff and customers
- Changes in markets and changes in supply chain security
The Stern Review (Stern 2006) of the economic impacts of climate change indicated that in the UK we could see large financial loss as a result of changes in our climate and the impact of extreme weather events on our economy. The review highlighted the key points that:
"the overall costs of climate change if no preventative action were taken would be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) each year, now and forever."
“the benefits of strong and early action to reduce carbon
emissions would outweigh the economic costs of not acting”
"the costs of preventative action, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, could be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year"
What can I do in my business?
There are a range of resources available free from government and other organisations.
Climate East Midlands
The Climate East Midlands guide on "Weathering the Storm: Saving and Making Money in a Changing Climate" is available at http://www.climate-em.org.uk/resources/item/weathering-the-storm-a-business-guide-to-climate-change-adaptation/ which provides guidance, information and checklists for your business to see how resilient your business is to extreme weather events and changes in our climate.
Support for Businesses in Midlands
Climate change and severe weather may affect your business in a variety of ways, and you can take action to make your business more resilient. You may have experienced an event such as a flood, heatwave, or storm in the past which affected your business operations. One essential step that businesses can take is to put in place a business continuity plan, to help them continue to operate despite severe weather impacts.
Climate East Midlands and the Environment Agency recently held an online survey to inform future support being offered to businesses in the Midlands. Details of the support will be released shortly with further information about the project available at http://www.climate-em.org.uk/projects/building-business-resilience/
Business Link can provide information and advice on adaptation, business continuity planning and ways to reduce your business’ environmental impacts, and point you to further sources of information and support.
UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP)
UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) provides information on the possible changes in our climate during the next century and provide tools to help you to assess the possible impacts on your business.
The Council is working with other local authorities in the East Midlands to plan for the potential impacts of climate change with the assistance of the UK Climate Impacts Programme through work towards National Indicator, NI 188, planning to adapt to climate change.
UKCIP have recently lauched the UKCP09 Scenarios, providing greater detail in the projected impacts with probabilities of changes. On the UKCP09 Scenarios website, hosted by Defra, businesses can obtain information on:
- Key messages from the scenarios for awareness raising
- Reports and maps to assist decision-making
- Access and guidance on the scenario information and a weather generator where high detail is required
The websites also have guidance and FAQs to assist in the use of the information and an e-learning tool instructing on how to access and use the information
Within the tools and information on offer are:
- Local Climate Impact Profile (LCLIPs) – assessing the impact of past weather events on your business – as completed by Rutland County Council
- BACLIAT tool – assessing the current and future impacts on your business using risk assessments Business Link are the main government portal for advice for businesses.
For further information and to access the full range of UKCIP support, please visit the UKCIP website at http://www.ukcip.org.uk/ and the UKCP09 Scenario introduction at http://ukcp09.defra.gov.uk/ and technical website http://ukclimateprojections.defra.gov.uk/.
Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change
Local authorities can sign a voluntary pledge to commit to their public to addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.
Rutland County Council is a signatory of the Nottingham Declaration, and is committed to helping businesses and our wider community in preparing for the possible impacts of climate change.
The Nottingham Declaration website at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/nottingham includes information on the pledge and advice on how to develop a Climate Change Action Plan and Adaptation Action Plan.