Adapt your business to climate change

Your business strategy and climate change


To ensure that your business operates effectively, and continues to do so in the future, you should have both a business plan and a strategic plan. Your business plan should focus on short-term and mid-term goals and define the steps necessary to achieve them. Your strategic plan should contain longer-term objectives and explain the strategies for reaching these.

Climate change in your business strategy

As part of this business planning process, you should think about the impact that climate change could have on your business. You should consider positive impacts such as new opportunities as well as negative impacts such as rising costs, changes in customers' buying habits and risks.

As well as thinking about how climate change will affect your own business, you should also think about how climate change will affect your supply chain and your customers.

You should try to ensure that your adaptation measures are sustainable. For example, consider whether your business' management of climate risks will negatively affect the ability of other people or the natural environment to adapt to climate change. You should also consider if any adaptation measures you implement in the short term will affect your ability to adapt to the effects of climate change in the future.

Managing climate change risks

Climate change risks can be managed like any other business risks. Approaches to assessing and mitigating risks may include business continuity planning, risk management and strategic planning. These can help you to:

  • assess your strengths and weaknesses
  • identify and manage any significant impacts
  • secure cost savings and internal efficiencies
  • provide benchmarks for improvements and intended benefits

In order to manage the risks your business faces from climate change, you should consider doing the following:

  • identify what the risks are
  • identify which elements of the risk you have control over or can influence
  • implement a plan to avoid the risks where it is possible and cost-effective to do so
  • where it is not possible to avoid a risk, you should take measures to minimise the chance of the event occurring
  • take steps to minimise the severity of a loss should the event occur

To best integrate your climate change plans into your business processes, you should consider using an environmental management system.