Arizona Canal photo courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
It wasn’t so long ago that the job of a sustainability executive was to make a company more “green” or “eco-friendly.”
But as GreenBiz.com producer Joel Makower points out in a recent blog post things are changing.
“Risk and resilience haven’t typically been part of most companies’ sustainability vocabularies,” writes Makower, “But Mother Nature’s fury is changing that, as droughts, floods, hurricanes and wildfires disrupt companies and their supply chains.”
Hurricane Sandy, so close to a huge metropolitan area, was a huge wake up call to the kind of disruption a major weather event can cause. But Sandy was far from the only weather event that upended business and society. Among the worldwide increase in extreme weather, the most obvious areas of vulnerability are food, fuel and water.
When we started Trout Headwaters nearly 20 years ago “climate change” was just coming to the fore. The frequency with which we now see extreme weather events has infused our company with a renewed sense of urgency.
Nature offers us a most effective protection against weather extremes, if we would only recognize these protections. Marshes, wetlands, and riparian buffers naturally protect against wind and water erosion, flooding, and drought. These margins between land and water serve as barriers, sponges and filters to regulate water levels and filter pollutants. But we have to take care of them, so they can take care of us.
Businesses, which think regularly about risk mitigation, are just beginning to think about climate change and resource constraints like other business risks. “Keeping an eye on this is becoming part of the job of a growing handful of sustainability executives in global companies,” writes Makower… As the World Economic Forum wrote in a paper, “Global Risks 2012,” “rising greenhouse gas emissions” and the “failure of climate change adaptation” are in the same risk quadrant as food shortages and terrorism.”
Read more: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2013/02/25/state-green-business-sustainability-becomes-matter-risk-and-resilience