Global Companies Acknowledging Climate Change As Threat

As a facilitator with Wild BC, I deliver train-the-trainer style environmental education workshops to teachers and other interested parties. Some years back, we were providing climate change workshops. There was a load of training involved as we had to be on our toes concerning the latest research. At the time, when climate change was mentioned in the newspaper or other media, the question always was, ‘is it real or not?’ We had to be sure we could answer that question intelligently when it invariably came up in a workshop.

Fast forward a few years and things have changed radically. There’s still the odd article asking whether climate change is real or not, but those are the minority. In fact, corporations aren’t asking if climate change is real or not. They’re too busy figuring out how they’re going to address it.

Coke, Nike Call Climate Change ‘Commercial Threat’

From | Published January 27th, 2014

Coca-Cola and Nike are among the global companies that have acknowledged that climate change is a major threat to commerce and adapted their business practices as a result, the New York Times reports.

Coke’s turning point came in 2004 when the beverage giant lost an operating contract in India due to water scarcity. After a decade of “increasing damage” to its balance sheet, in the form of shortages of water, sugar cane, sugar beet and citrus needed to produce its soda, the company has fully embraced the idea of climate change as an economically disruptive force, the paper reports.

The company is now part of an increasing number of companies that see climate change as a force that contributes to lower gross domestic product, higher food and commodity costs and a problem that can also disrupt supply chains and lead to financial instability.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, all of Friday was set aside to talk about climate change and its commercial implications.

Nike is speaking at the conference about the threat flooding — a result of climate change — to its operations and supply chain based in low-lying areas. The company last year had to shut four factories in Thailand due to flooding and is growing more concerned about the threat posed to cotton harvests and, as a result, cotton prices, the paper reports.

Both Nike and Coke have policies in place to mitigate the effects on their end product. Coke has implemented water conservation measures and Nike has increased the amount of synthetic materials it uses. The apparel company has also opened a waterless dye factory.

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