How does climate change affect the businesses we use daily? Let the CEOs weigh in.
CDP, a U.K.-based nonprofit recently conducted a survey report asking about 7000 companies to assess their environmental impact, “including the risks and opportunities they believe climate change presents for their businesses.” While consumers may think of global warming and climate change as “oh shit the weather is 100 degrees today”, companies are thinking of it as business risks or opportunities. Example, Bank of America seems worried that flooding would cause homeowners to default on their mortgages. Disney is concerned that its theme parks will get too hot for families to visit for vacations, AT&T’s worst fear is that hurricanes and wildfires may knock out its cell towers, and most important of all Coca-Cola “is wondering if there will still be enough water to make Coke.”
So how does climate change affect a global business? Let’s ask Intel: “Many of Intel’s operations are located in semi-arid regions and water-stressed areas, such as Israel, China and the southwestern United States. If climate change causes longer droughts in those areas, it could potentially lead to increased operational costs since the semiconductor manufacturing process relies on access to water.” - Intel Corp. For AT&T, it disclosed that frequent hurricanes and wildfires could force the company to spend more money on repairing damage to its network, which also noted that disasters cost its business $627 million in 2017. Bank of America also reported that 4% of its U.S. housing loans are in flood zones, and “could lead to homeowners defaulting on their mortgage payments if flood insurance premiums become unaffordable, and housing values going down as a result.”
Some companies see climate change as opportunities According to Home Depot, more disasters will mean increased sales, and as temperatures increases, people will need more air conditioners, thereby creating higher demand for its home improvement and construction business. For pharmaceutical companies like Merck, they are banking on one thing - climate change = more people will get sick = they can sell more products to treat new weather-related diseases.