Climate change will bring opportunities for economic growth if British businesses think now about how climate change will affect them, Environment Minister Lord Henley said today. The message came at the launch of a new interactive online tool designed by Defra and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to prepare businesses for both climate risks and opportunities.
The Climate Resilience Toolkit is a quick and simple online tool available on the Business Link website for businesses wanting to increase their resilience to the changing climate, or explore possibilities for growth by taking advantage of the opportunities climate change will bring.
The toolkit provides a tailored report for each business to help it focus on what it should be doing to prepare, such as checking the robustness of its supply chain, the threat of flooding to premises and possible changes in customer demand for products.
Environment Minister Lord Henley said:
“Climate change will have impacts on all UK businesses, such as the availability of resources, demand for different products, and the increased threat of floods, drought and other extreme weather. But smart businesses that take action now to limit the risks and identify the opportunities climate change could bring will steal a march on their rivals.
“The Climate Resilience Toolkit we have developed with CIMA is an excellent tool for quickly and simply assessing areas in your business that could be affected by climate change.”
While many organisations have looked at reducing their carbon emissions, few have seriously considered how to address the impacts of an already changing climate. A survey commissioned by Defra last year found that two thirds of the UK’s largest businesses (68%) have not yet acted on the risks and opportunities that climate change poses. Businesses must not only consider how to reduce their environmental impact, but also how to adapt and build resilience to the expected impacts of climate change as part of their wider business model.
Andrew Harding, Executive Director, CIMA Markets, explains:
“Forward-thinking businesses must be aware of the risks and alive to the opportunities that climate change brings. Many SMEs fail to prepare for climate change, leaving it to the big players in industry to manage and mitigate those risks. This can leave many SMEs in a vulnerable position. It is vital that all businesses, whatever their size, assess these risks now and take action to manage those risks to avoid costly disruption. This online tool will improve organisations’ risk planning around climate change and will help them become more economically resilient.
“Sustainability makes good business sense and it should be embedded at the very heart of any company strategy. As companies incorporate these environmental considerations into their strategies for long-term business success, management accountants have an important role to play in ensuring that investments in sustainability capabilities produce greater returns than simply meeting compliance requirements.”
Andrew Slight, Head of External Affairs at PepsiCo UK & Ireland, said:
“PepsiCo is reducing carbon emissions in our own operations as well as throughout our supply chain. But we also know that tackling climate change is about adaptation as well as mitigation. For example, we are working with Climate East, Defra, Suffolk Country Council, Anglian Water and the Environment Agency to understand how climate change will affect the water availability for our Copella apple juice plant at Boxford in Suffolk and for the local community. By asking these questions now, we want to ensure the long term resilience and viability of our operations, and work with others towards having a positive water impact.
“The new toolkit will help businesses gain a better understanding of the risks and opportunities involved in adapting to a changing climate and, we hope, lead to more collaboration between business, Government, water companies and other stakeholders which will help us all manage future risks better.”
- The Climate Resilience Toolkit can be found at www.businesslink.gov.uk/climaterisk
- The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), founded in 1919, is the world’s leading and largest professional body of Management Accountants, with 183,000 members and students operating in 168 countries, working at the heart of business. CIMA members and students work in industry, commerce and not-for-profit organisations. CIMA works closely with employers and sponsors leading-edge research, constantly updating its qualification, professional experience requirements and continuing professional development to ensure it remains the employers’ choice when recruiting financially-trained business leaders. CIMA is committed to upholding the highest ethical and professional standards of members and students, and to maintaining public confidence in management accountancy. CIMA is proud to be the first accounting body to offer a truly global product in the fast moving area of Islamic Finance. According to independent research conducted by the University of Bath School of Management, CIMA’s syllabus and examination structure are the most relevant to the needs of business of all the accountancy bodies assessed. See the CIMA Difference report for further information at www.cimaglobal.com/thecimadifference. For more information about CIMA, please visit www.cimaglobal.com. Follow CIMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CIMA_News
- The Adapting to Climate Change Programme, based in Defra, works with Government Departments and their agencies, local authorities, businesses, regulators, infrastructure providers/owners/operators/investors and civil society to improve the country’s resilience to the impacts of the unavoidable climate change we will experience over the next 30-40 years. Beyond that timeframe, our mitigation efforts to de-carbonise the economy are crucial to avoiding the more extreme projections of climate change. More information is available from www.defra.gov.uk/adaptation.