Business and services

Helping you to increase your business resilience to extreme weather and the changing climate.

Why businesses need to act

If your business has been affected by changes in weather patterns or an extreme weather event, you know how expensive and disruptive recovery can be.

Being prepared for future changes in the climate is an important part of business planning, whether that be building climate resilience into your business practices or making the most of business opportunities.

  • 2012 was the wettest UK-summer since 1912, with river levels tripling and flooding in most regions of England and Wales
  • Many large organisations now see climate change as a major risk
  • Drought in the UK during 2012 resulted in a hosepipe ban for 20 million people, and 200 related environmental incidents

There are strong financial incentives for developing climate resilience:

  • summer floods in England and Northern Ireland cost the economy £4 billion in 2007
  • research indicates the 2003 heatwave cost the economy £500 million – plus loss of life
  • the snow of early 2011 cost the economy an estimated £600 million per day (Federation of Small Businesses)
  • Unilever estimates that climate-related risks led to an additional €200 million of losses in 2011 alone
  • the cost of repairing potential weather-related damage could be four times as expensive as the cost of implementing adaptation measures (OECD)
  • 39 per cent of consultants and professional services firms asked by UKTI said industry is already grabbing a competitive edge from helping clients adapt to climate change
  • UK exports in adaptation and resilience to climate change services were valued at £12.2bn in 2011/12

Simple first steps for businesses

Be Climate Ready is a quick guide for small and medium-sized businesses and organisations. Developed in collaboration with Defra and Climate Week, it offers simple practical actions that organisations can take to be better prepared for extreme weather and the changing climate:

The Business Resilience Healthcheck tool has been designed to help businesses increase their resilience to a range of potential risks, including climate change and extreme weather. It helps identify the most vulnerable parts of a business and prompts action:

The Climate Ready Support Service has developed a five step framework to help businesses understand and manage the risks that extreme weather and our changing climate pose to the increasingly complex supply chains of UK companies.

Use this framework to identify new risks and opportunities within your supply chain, and work out how to increase the resilience of your business by making targeted changes to your supply chain operations:

‘Climate Change Adaptation: building the business case’ has been developed by IEMA specifically for environment and sustainability professionals needing to understand and build support for climate change adaptation in their business. It is based on direct experience of practitioners who have worked on adaptation and resilience to climate change and extreme weather:

CBI’s report on ‘Whatever the weather’ looks at how businesses are addressing the impacts of changes in climate. It assesses the case for action and provides guidance for companies looking to address climate risk in their business planning:

CLARA (Climate Adaptation Resource for Advisors) helps business advisors support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in understanding and preparing for the impacts of climate change:

In depth tools for further analysis

BACLIAT (Business Areas Climate Impacts Assessment Tool) is a workshop aide that will help you conduct a workshop to explore the implications of climate change for your business or sector. It can be used by any size of business or organisation, and considers opportunities as well as the threats posed by our changing climate:

British Standards Institution guide brings together research, analysis tools, practical experience and the latest climate projections. It offers a cost-effective approach to identifying and embedding future climate risks in an existing management system. (Please note there is a charge of £30 or order this publication):

Our priorities

  • Developing tools and information for digital channels.
  • Raising awareness of tools and information for business service providers e.g. accountants to use with their business clients.
  • Helping to make business continuity and risk management standards appropriate for managing climate risks and encouraging their use in this way.
  • Working with Environment Agency teams to provide support and guidance on climate risks to regulated industry.
  • Working with retailers  to raise awareness of supply chain vulnerability.
  • Creating an adaptation qualification, and supporting its incorporation into continuing professional development.
  • Developing a data-base of weather impacts to businesses.

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