Thursday, October 15, 2009

Business & Climate Change: A Blog Action Day Message

Nearly 10 years ago, Harvard Business Review published What Every Executive Needs to Know About Global Warming (Packard & Reinhardt, 2000).  The article continues to be relevant today and should be read by all managers and executives.

The authors encouraged businesses to look at climate change in terms of risks and opportunities.  Companies whose assets are affected by weather, such as insurance, real estate, agriculture, and tourism, were warned to plan for the consequences of climate change.  And all businesses, regardless of industry, were encouraged to prepare for anticipated regulations to curtail practices believed to be contributing factors to climate change; new opportunities may arise for a variety of companies and industries as a result of these changes.  The authors also advised companies to be honest and transparent with stakeholders and to be public about their intiatives toward climate change mitigation.  Lastly, they stated that there are "no excuses for inaction" in managing the business risks and opportunities associated with climate change.  The authors concluded by stating that thinking through the complexities of how climate change will impact the business is a test of management acumen; some executives are meeting this challenge head-on while others are not--and shareholders should ask why.

If your business is ready to plan for climate change, then I recommend A Three-Pronged Approach to Corporate Climate Strategy (Business for Social Responsibility, 2006).  In order for the world to decrease global emissions by the recommended 70%, companies need to think in terms of zero emissions as they plan their climate change strategies.  In a nutshell, it is recommended that companies analyze their value chains to identify opportunities to become more energy efficient, to invest in carbon emission offsets, and to invest in renewable energy.

Don't forget to participate in your local 350 Climate Action Rally on Saturday, October 24.  The Little Rock, AR event will be held at MacArthur Park from 2-5pm.  Hosted by Audubon Arkansas, 1 Sky, Sierra Club, and Village Commons, the event will feature local musicians, speakers and educational booths with presentations by State Representative Kathy Webb, Sierra Club, and Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church.

1 comment:

Tawny said...

From Curt Johnson, CEO of JohnsonDiversey, speaking at COP15: “The ability of industry to successfully address climate change hinges on a simple change in mindset and it all boils down to waste. I’m here to advocate a profound aversion to waste. Treating Greenhouse gas a waste creates a sea-change in perspective of how to address climate change. This will spur the classic private sector creativity and action that will make a huge difference in our emissions.” All I can say is “IT’S ABOUT TIME!!” See the rest of his speech here:

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