Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change

From the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), this report 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. 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.

The report explores effective methods used by these leading companies to build greater resilience into their operations, supply chains, preparedness policies, and risk management plans. It examines how companies perceive and manage climate risks as well as potential business opportunities, describes common business practices for evaluating and building resilience to physical impacts, and presents a framework for emerging best practices used by leading companies to manage the risks of extreme weather and climate-related impacts.

C2ES found that 90 percent of the S&P Global 100 companies identify extreme weather and climate change as business risks, and most have experienced climate impacts or expect to within 10 years. The top concerns include damage to facilities, increased insurance and commodity costs, loss of water and power supplies, and disruption of supply and distribution chains. Despite the growing awareness of these rising risks, relatively few companies are investing in resilience beyond "business as usual" because they lack sufficient information and tools to help them relate these risks to their business operations.

In addition to these broad conclusions, the report outlines a set of more detailed findings on prevailing attitudes and practices among S&P Global 100 companies. And, to help encourage and inform stronger resilience efforts, it lays out a four-step framework for managing climate risks that incorporates the emerging best practices from case-study companies already working to prepare for the very likely prospect of increasing extreme weather and climate change impacts. 

Publication Date: July 16, 2013

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Meg Crawford
  • Stephen Seidel

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  • Best practice

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