Tuesday 25th October 2016                 Change text size:

FTSE 100 firms unprepared for climate change

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New research commissioned by the Department for Envrionment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and conducted by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) claims that less than half of FTSE 100 companies have climate change adaptation strategies in place.

This is in contrast to the 80% of major UK companies that have identified “substantive risks to their business” because of the impending threat of climate change.

Speaking at a CDP event in London, environment minister Lord Taylor called on investors and shareholders to hold companies to account with regards to their actions in adapting to global warming.

Investors that want to keep share prices high must stress the need for action to prepare for climate change”, he said.

They can provide an incentive to businesses to not only consider the long-term risks of climate change, but also the opportunities that can be grasped now.”

Lord Taylor’s words echo those of Nick Britton, part of the organising team at tonight’s New Energy Awards, who highlighted the importance of making a “business success” out of adopting carbon reduction technologies – vital if we are to tackle climate change.

The study is called Insights into Climate Change Adaptation by UK Companies, and uses data submitted by 89 of the FTSE 100 firms.

Whilst it’s not all doom and gloom for large corporations in the UK – indeed, many do have global warming adaptation measures in place – work still needs to be done to ensure that the threat isn’t disastrous for business.

UK businesses have the skills, knowledge and expertise to be world leaders in creating solutions to climate risks”, Lord Taylor added.

But while many firms are beginning to appreciate these opportunities for growth, much more needs to be done if UK firms are to maintain a competitive edge over their rivals.

Businesses need to think how climate change could affect their operation and make robust plans to protect themselves.”

It’s likely that many of the FTSE 100 companies less able to adopt climate change measures are the ones in unsustainable, high-carbon industries, such as oil and gas. Essentially, the ones doing the most damage to our environment.

A widespread shift in priorities, away from profit and towards more balanced objectives that encompass people and the planet, is required to tackle climate change.

If you are an investor, seeking out those companies who are adapting to climate change is not only good for the environment but also takes future risks into greater consideration. Ask you IFA how you can ensure your investments are in line with Lord Taylor’s recommendations, or fill in our online form and we’ll put you in touch with a specialist.

But it’s not just large-scale corporations that need to adapt to climate change. Adopting or installing renewable technology at home or for your business, thus curbing your carbon emissions, is something we can all do. Get in touch with Good Energy, the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier, to find out more.

Further reading:

UK needs to adapt to climate change risks

Water management behind climate change on boardroom agenda

CDP’s Global 500 report makes encouraging reading

£20 million fund to help rural businesses reduce environmental impact

Performance vs. pay: should boardroom officials be rewarded regardless of their company’s success?

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