Research | Climate Change Adaptation
Climate change—and its resulting impacts, including the increasing severity of storms and weather disasters, receding rivers, advancing deserts, and more frequently occurring landslides, floods, and sinkholes—will test business’ ability to deliver products and services.
Beyond direct business impacts, companies will need to understand how climate change will affect their most vulnerable stakeholders—the poor, citizens of developing countries, and women—who will become more at risk to drought, disease vectors, and the perils of migration.
Leading companies are already working with BSR to understand their climate change risks and opportunities, and there are substantial resources available to translate the growing body of science on climate impacts into tools for business management.
Working With BSR
BSR brings tools for managing climate change across industries and experience generating local benefits through sustainable business practices in a variety of settings.
We can help your company:
- Develop a strategy: The profound, widespread, and unpredictable effects of climate change will substantially impact core business and CSR efforts alike. Drawing on our experience guiding companies to develop and implement sustainability strategies, BSR helps companies understand the issues of adaptation at global and operational levels, ask the right questions, and develop effective systems for governance and decision making on responses to climate change.
- Identify sustainability solutions: With disruption, climate change brings opportunities for innovation, which range from delivering hydration solutions and helping vulnerable communities meet other basic needs, to applying finance and technology to build more resilient infrastructure and networks. BSR has experience facilitating productive dialogue and identifying opportunities for sustainability solutions in new markets to help companies responsibly deliver new products and services that anticipate the demands of customers living in a changing environment.
- Communicate climate risks: Over 80 percent of Global 500 companies now report to investors on climate risks, opportunities, impacts, and issues through the Carbon Disclosure Project. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also made informed reporting a requirement. We advise companies on the most important issues they should be communicating about, including physical, regulatory, technology, and market issues. Beyond disclosure, we also work with companies to find an effective, forward-looking framework—for example, preparedness, innovation, or future-proofing—to communicate with internal and external audiences on the topic of climate adaptation.
- Create local benefits: Many sources of risk for companies will likely be far from their headquarters and centered in local communities where they have field operations, suppliers, and customers. In these locations, capacity and infrastructure needs to provide robust disaster response systems and continuity plans. From Latin America to Bangladesh, BSR has experience working with companies and local stakeholders in international communities that are vulnerable to climate change. We bring our approach to building and facilitating cross-sector alliances to creating partnerships with stakeholders from government, civil society, and business on key local development priorities.
BSR wishes to thank the following people who have provided valuable input: Rebecca Adamson (First Peoples Worldwide), Andrea de Angelis (UNDP), Darren Beck (Sprint), Philippe Boncour, International Organization on Migration, Christopher Bray (Barclay’s plc), Richard Choularton (UN World Food Programme), Beth Coby (Danisco), Alec Crawford (International Institute for Sustainable Development), Robert Dennle (Aramark), Lily Donge, Rebecca Henson (Calvert), Tom Downing (Global Climate Change Adaptation Partnership), Julie Gorte (PaxWorld Management LLC),Tim Grettle (Dr Pepper/Snapple), Madeleen Helmer (Red Cross), Todd Houston (Belk), Brian Jacobs (Coca Cola), John Jacoby (Oxfam America), Nancy Kelly (HP), Scott Klinger (First Peoples Worldwide), Katharina Latif (Allianz), Bruce Kahn (DeutscheBank ), Thomas Loster (Munich Re), Robert Muir Wood ( RMS), Brigitte Pilpot (Coca Cola ), Danny Shapiro (US Department of State), Tim Smith (Walden Asset Management ), Marja-Liisa Tapio-Bistrom (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), Zoe Tcholak-Antitch (Carbon Disclosure Project), Anna Walker (Levi’s), Mark Way (Swiss Re), Bill Williams (Barrick Gold Corporation), Jan du Plessis (Gold Fields), Vivian MacKnight (Vale S.A.), Cristiane Cassia (Vale S.A.), Mark Way (Swiss Re), Zoe Tcholak-Antitch (Carbon Disclosure Project), Tim Smith (Walden Asset Management), Thomas Loster (Munich Re), Lily Donge and Rebecca Henson (Calvert), Christopher Bray (Barclay’s plc), Terry Mutter (The Boeing Company), Steve Leffin (UPS), and Daniella Spiessmann (Deutsche Post DHL).
We also wish to thank Carbon Disclosure Project for sharing responses to the Investor Questionnaire, which was instrumental in our research.
Adaptation to Climate Change: BSR’s Industry Guides
- Introduction to Climate Change Adaptation for Business
- Consumer Products
- Energy and Utilities
- Financial Services
- Food, Beverage, and Agriculture
- Information and Communications Technology
- Summary of Recommendations for Adapting to Climate Change
Other BSR Resources
- Value Chain Climate Resilience: A Guide to Managing Climate Impacts in Companies and Communities
- How Companies Should Adapt to Climate Change
- How Businesses Can Plan for the Unpredictability of Climate Change
- CBI (2009) Future proof: preparing your business for a changing climate (PDF)
- Economist (2010) How to Live with Climate Change
- Pew Center on Global Climate Change (2008) Adapting to Climate Change: A Business Approach (PDF)
- UKCIP (2010) Adaptation Wizard: Introduction
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2007) Adaptation: An issue brief for business (PDF)
- ACCA (2009) Climate Change Adaptation (PDF)
- ICLEI (2009) Changing Climate, Changing Communities: Guide and Workbook for Municipal Climate Adaptation
- Insight Investments (2008) Managing the Unavoidable: Understanding the investment implications of adapting to climate change (PDF)
- Lloyds (2006) Climate Change: Adapt or Bust
- PWC (2010). Business leadership on climate change adaptation: Encouraging engagement and action (PDF)
- UKCIP (2010). A Changing Climate for Business: Business Planning for the Impacts of Climate Change and Business Areas Climate Impacts Assessment Tool
- Acclimatise (2008) Appendix to the Carbon Disclosure Project Report 2008: Building business resilience to inevitable climate change
- ActionAid (2010) Briefing note: Support adaptation now! Why poor people can’t wait
- Air Worldwide (2008) Catastrophe Modeling in an Environment of Climate Change (PDF)
- Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (2010) Climate Change Adaptation Framework Manual (PDF)
- Carbon Disclosure Project Report (2008) FTSE 350: Building business resilience to inevitable climate change (PDF)
- Economics of Climate Change Adaptation (2009) Shaping climate-resilient development: A framework for decision-making (PDF)
- Germanwatch (2010) Climate Risk Index 2011
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
- International Finance Corporation (2010) Climate Risk and Business: Practical Methods for Assessing Risk (PDF)
- Institute of Development Studies—numerous
- International Organization for Migration (2010) Disaster risk reduction, Climate change adaptation and Environmental migration: A Policy Perspective
- Munich Re (2005) Knowledge Series: Weather Catastrophes and Climate Change - is there still hope for us?
- Oxfam (2010) A fresh look at the green economy: Jobs that build resilience to climate change
- Risk Management Solutions (2008/9) A Guide to Catastrophe Modeling (PDF)
- Stern, N. (2007). The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review
- Swiss Re –numerous, including (2002) Opportunities and Risks of Climate Change
- Three Regions Climate Change Group (2005) Adapting to Climate Change: A Checklist for Development
- White House Council on Environmental Quality( 2010) Progress Report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force (PDF)
- World Resources Institute (2007) “Weathering the Storm: Options for Framing Adaptation and Development” (PDF)