Companies will first focus on adaptation within their direct sphere of influence. These can include measures to improve company buildings and infrastructure, the production process, the situation of employees or the storage of supplies and produced goods. Collaboration on adaptation with external stakeholders, such as suppliers, buyers, governmental authorities or the financing community is more challenging.
Which adaptation measures a company chooses depends on the climate change impacts and risks it faces. These are dependent on the company’s location, sector, technology level, and adaptive capacity. Deciding factors include investment costs for measures, the type of risk covered, and the comprehensiveness of the measure and whether there are (positive or negative) side effects to be expected – thus, ultimately, the cost and benefit of measures.
Examples for adaptation measures to minimize risks:
- Installation of power backup for uninterrupted power supply in the case of interruption due to storms
- Usage of water saving technologies in order to cope with water shortages
- Installation of weather proofed storage spaces for protecting valuables against extreme weather events
- Provide housing for employees on the company premises to ensure that they can reach the company even during heavy rains or extreme heat
- Diversify suppliers to reduce price hikes and transport interruptions during extreme weather
- Assess whether and how to invest in solar panels for independent energy generation
Examples for exploiting business opportunities
- An Indian company has developed a drip irrigation system which adapts to growing uncertainty around water availability by reducing the water requirement.
- In order to cope with high temperatures a chemical company developed a new color which minimizes the thermal effects of sunlight absorption on walls by reflecting thermal radiation.
- A business in Bangladesh is working on climate proof shipping. It builds fiberglass fishing boats which are more stable in turbulent weather conditions and significantly more resilient in flood conditions.
- A Canadian SME developed solar photovoltaic and wind powered portable and fixed structure greenhouses. These eco-friendly and self-sufficient greenhouses are capable of growing organic crops in a range of climatic conditions.
- A German SME develops and offers mobile walls and other constructions to deliver flood protection.
- Several businesses worldwide provide critical micro-climate, weather information to farmers via text messaging.
- An American company developed near shore wave energy converters that reduce coastal erosion in island states and tropical regions, while simultaneously converting absorbed wave energy in distributed clean power generation for desalinization and electric power.