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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Business Continuity In The Age of Climate Change

Continuity has always been an important consideration for businesses - after all, every entrepreneur wants to know that they can continue to operate their company, whatever the future may hold. However, for business owners operating in the 21st century, continuity is more crucial than ever due to the threats posed by climate change.

The future today
While climate change is often discussed in futuristic terms - a problem that will be experienced by the grandchildren of today’s adults, rather than the adults themselves - the reality is that many of the issues a changing climate can cause are already here. Global temperature records keep being broken; storms are becoming more powerful; and as detail, urban flooding is becoming more common - the change is already here, which means business owners need to take these issues into account when considering the continuity of their business.

Areas to focus on

  • For modern businesses, continuity will in general need to focus on one area in particular: data. It is not a stretch to suggest that some companies cannot function at all without access to all relevant data, so working with the likes of to ensure that this is securely backed up is absolutely critical when it comes to protecting against threats such as flooding and storm damage.
  • In addition to data, modern businesses depend on their staff in order to function - and ensuring staff can continue to work in the event of serious or even dangerous weather conditions can thus be considered a continuity matter. Focus first and foremost on ensuring office conditions are as comfortable as possible; realistically, office buildings will require air conditioning, and measures such as thermal blinds can also help to keep conditions as reasonable as possible.
  • It is also advisable to think about problems that can arise as a result of climate-change-related weather conditions - for example, brownouts or blackouts as a result of AC usage can be hugely troublesome for businesses, so investing in a generator that can continue to deliver power to your business is definitely worthwhile. In addition, water supplies can also be disrupted (especially in hot drought conditions), so if your business relies on large quantities of water, storage tanks are worth considering.
  • Finally, consider your supply chain. While you may have been able to take steps to protect your business, there is no guarantee that your suppliers will - which could leave you running short of vital materials in the future. Ask your suppliers what measures they have taken to ensure a continual stream of supplies in the event of a serious weather event; if you know the matter has been addressed, then this can be reassuring. Alternatively (or additionally), you could consider looking to order in larger quantities than you usually have, and storing more items on-site.

In conclusion
Building and sustaining a business is a huge challenge, especially in the face of a changing climate. By focusing on the areas we have identified above, you should be able to ensure that your business is able to continue to thrive long into the future.
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