It is a fact that more businesses on a world scale are finding ways to identify, manage, and reduce their impact on insuring the health of our planet. At the same time, there is also the hard fact that we will not necessarily see marked positive changes in our environment for another 30 to 40 years. Even as we slowly implement greener technologies, the climate continues to change, with its more obvious temperature fluctuations that lead to storms, floods, and other anomalies.
According to a Charted Management Institute survey, 29% of businesses throughout the United States were adversely affected by extreme weather last year. Another survey has revealed that up to 80% of businesses affected by major climate-related incidents never re-open or have to close their doors within 18 months after the disaster.
Many scientists are currently predicting that it may be too late for solutions to the global warming crisis. In meetings held outside of Mexico City with 17 of the world’s largest economic contributors, experts are discussing how to adapt to climate change while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. A future conference in Denmark will hopefully deliver solutions. Experts are also talking about creating an international adaptation fund as a part of the next United Nations climate treaty, whereby billions of dollars would be allotted to finance infrastructure, water, and agricultural technologies, especially in poor countries as they are hit with growing temperature fluctuations and catastrophic incidents.
One of the areas that is impacted the most has to do with water. In addition to protecting coastal areas around the world from rising tides, fresh water needs to be guaranteed to populations. According to Paul Schuler from General Electric’s Water Technologies unit, GE is working on technologies to ensure drought-prone areas of fresh water. This means investing in high-tech purifiers as well as the recourse to recycled wastewater.
Deutche Bank’s chief climate change strategist, Mark Fulton, says that the bank has created a $4 million climate fund to invest in renewable energy. The bank is now shifting some of these funds into adaptation technologies that will provide for future catastrophes. The global banking corporation HSBC has also invested in adaptation as strategists there recognize the reality of what is most likely in store as we wait for the planet to slowly recover from damage.
Because of the continued flow of information regarding climate change, businesses are now looking for methods whereby they can become more resilient. This means identifying both the risks and opportunities involved in adaptation to abnormalities. Water technologies such as desalination, filtration, reverse osmosis are just some of the areas where businesses are recognizing new opportunities. Emergency equipment is another area that promises a new market potential, with companies investing in mobile water filtration units and the like.
With foresight comes the ability to develop measures that can offer assistance to populations while creating revenue. As our natural resources diminish, we not only are discovering ways to slow down the decline, but also coming up with viable and profitable management techniques for surviving in a new global paradigm.