Many business activities and the resources that support them can be disrupted by severe weather. In fact, a survey by the Chartered Management Institute, in association with the BCI, BSI and the Cabinet Office, found that 54% of businesses reported being disrupted by severe weather in 2012, making it the number one cause of business disruption for the fourth year running. Most recently the winter of 2013/14 has been reported as the wettest winter in England and Wales since records began with heavy rainfall and storms causing widespread flooding and disruption.
It is not possible to say that climate change alone is causing the increase in these disruptive events. Other changes are putting more value at risk, such as increasingly lean and complex supply chains and development in vulnerable locations. However, what is clear is that both the frequency of severe weather events and the value at risk are increasing. This has implications for business continuity and broader business objectives.
Organizations need to be prepared for severe weather regardless of the cause. This can involve making physical, operational or strategic changes and includes actions that tackle the likelihood of damage or disruption as well as those aimed at managing its impacts. It can include preparing for opportunities as well as threats.
In partnership with BSI, the Environment Agency has developed a Smart Guide on Adapting to Climate Change using a business continuity management system. Aimed at BC professionals, the guide is freely available and is intended to help:
- Understand how climate change is influencing their risks
- Take the lead on managing such risks
- Be confident that their BCMS will remain effective during disruptive events
- Make the case for additional resources to implement BC or adaptation measures
- Communicate effectively about risk management from severe weather and the approach to climate change adaptation both internally and externally.
The Smart Guide can be downloaded for free from here.