Climate Ready provides tools and information to help businesses and other organisations live with the changing climate, now and in the future.
We work with key sectors of the UK economy and can help you find the best resources, tools and guidance as you start your journey towards becoming a ‘Climate Ready’ organisation.
This process is sometimes referred to as adaptation, but for many organisations also includes risk management and resilience planning.
Our information will help you plan your response to the changing climate:
How planning for the changing climate will help you
Flooding, heatwaves and drought can disrupt business continuity and community services by interrupting supply chains, damaging property and infrastructure, and affecting working conditions for staff. Food production and the natural environment will also be affected.
Climate impact facts
The heatwave during the summer of 2003 resulted in over 2,000 excess deaths across England and Wales, and is estimated to have cost the UK economy £500 million. 30,000 additional deaths were recorded in 2003 in Europe (source: Eurosurveillance).
In 2007, the summer floods were classed as a national disaster, costing £4 billion and thirteen lives. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), subsequent insurance claims averaged between £75,000 and £112,000 per business. More than 5 million homes are currently at risk of flooding in England - just 1 cm of flood water can cause over £15,000 worth of damage.
Disruption to transport due to the snow over Christmas 2010 cost Britain an estimated £400 million per day, according to the British Chamber of Commerce. The first quarter of 2011 only recovered part of the 0.5% contraction of GDP, suggesting that activity was permanently lost rather than displaced (Source: Office for National Statistics).
The wet weather in summer 2012 cost rural Britain at least £1 billion, according to an investigation by BBC One's Countryfile. Costs to farmers in lost output amounted to £600 million, while visitor numbers fell by 12%, costing the tourism industry an estimated £478 million.
Global impacts include:
- the U.N. has reported that climate disasters in the Asia-Pacific region have caused economic losses close to $300 billion in 2011
- major floods in Thailand affected industry around Bangkok, tripling the price of some hard disk drives, and affecting supply chains across the globe
- Unilever estimate that the impacts of climate change led to an additional €200 million ($260 million) of losses to its business in 2011.
However, it's not all bad news:
- the ABI suggests that home owners can reduce the cost of flood damage by up to 80% by installing resilient measures
- in 2010-11, the adaptation goods and services market was worth £2.1 billion, with around 21,000 employees in the UK and £65.8 billion globally.
Eight good reasons to consider climate change in your management and business planning
- Being able to deliver your services irrespective of the weather is good for your reputation and ensures longevity for your business or organisation
- Planned change is more cost effective and less expensive than last minute, reactive actions. It has been estimated that every £1 spent on adaptation could save £4 in avoided damages. Some changes that can make you more resilient can be made without any direct costs such as changes to policy or procedures
- Incorporating the changing climate into your planning can help you identify new opportunities and challenges. If you fail to spot these, you might find yourself at a disadvantage compared to others in your field
- Making changes now helps you to cope with current extreme weather events as well as future changes in the climate
- Decision-making on the basis of historic climate is no longer advisable. Average conditions are changing as well as the frequency of extreme weather events, so if you are using historic data you are likely to be caught out
- No matter how successful we are in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, some degree of climate change is now unavoidable
- Insurers, investors and government increasingly require that climate change be taken into account in decision-making
- Improve your business decisions, for example, consider where you locate new premises to reduce the risk of flooding, and construct them to cope with higher temperatures.