Authors: Nitkin, David; Foster, Ryan; Medalye, Jacqueline
Source: Network for Business Sustainability
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown that the Earth’s climate has begun to change as a result of human activity. Businesses will soon be forced by regulation to reduce their carbon footprint to mitigate future changes. However, businesses must also be prepared to adapt their activities and business models to the changes that will inevitably occur. The question is how.
There is no common definition of business adaptation to climate change, despite a growing realization that businesses will need to adapt. Adaptation strategies vary by sector. Most businesses have not undertaken major adaptation measures, instead assuming a ‘wait and see’ approach. The insurance sector is a leader in risk assessment and agriculture and tourism have the highest awareness of climate impact. Managers should openly discuss adaptation within their organization and collaborate with stakeholders to develop shared definitions and strategies. Timing is essential, as are ensuring alignment of adaptation measures with overall firm policy and commitment within the organization. Researchers must bolster business practice with solid empirical research.