Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Partners in Project Green: The Impacts of Climate Change on Business

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Each year reports of record breaking temperatures heatwaves forest fires floods and droughts dominate news headlines around the world These events cause major disruptions impacting business operations here in Ontario across Canada and around the world

Reports of record-breaking temperatures, heatwaves, forest fires, floods, and droughts take up the majority of headlines in the news each year. The operations of businesses in Ontario, Canada, and the rest of the world are significantly disrupted as a result of these events.

The Building a Climate Resilient Business Resource Kit was developed by the Partners in Project Green (PPG) group of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to assist businesses in the Greater Toronto Area in comprehending the effects of climate change on their operations. In our first blog for the OCC, we discussed the risks to business operations posed by fundamental climate change science foundations. The effects of climate change on business are outlined in the following section of our Resource Kit.

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Human health and well-being will be affected in Ontario by the rise in temperature and days of extreme heat. Extreme heat-related illnesses and dangers are especially likely to affect workers in a variety of industries, including agriculture and construction. Particularly on extremely hot days when employees are working outside or in unconditioned buildings, high humidity can cause medical problems.

Employee mental health and well-being will also be impacted by extreme weather, changes in air and water quality, and other factors like food and financial security. To keep their employees safe, businesses will need to make sure they have enough support programs, efficient health and safety procedures, and climate-controlled infrastructure.

Buildings and infrastructure that face major weather risks like flooding, tornadoes, windstorms, and extreme heat will be affected by climate change. These occurrences have the potential to disrupt supply chains, cause significant structural damage to buildings and infrastructure, put lives in danger, incur unexpected costs or raise insurance premiums, and put people’s lives in jeopardy.

The transportation of resources and goods can be delayed as a result of extreme weather. A single disruption to production, such as a significant windstorm disrupting power for an extended period of time, could have a significant impact on business earnings. Environmental change has suggestions for how actual resources are overseen and kept up with as well as how they are planned, created and guaranteed from here on out.

Due to the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security, farming operations will undergo numerous modifications. The variability in precipitation and the number of days with extreme heat will have a negative impact on crop yield, species tolerance, and livestock well-being, despite the fact that an increase in temperature will create conditions for a growing season in Ontario that could last an additional two months.

More pests and diseases will thrive in warmer and more humid conditions, which will have an effect on yield, costs, prices, and the overall health of crops and livestock. As a result, Canada and other nations that import food from Ontario may experience food insecurity. As a changing growing season will affect their operations and finances, agricultural businesses and their supply chains must be prepared for both opportunities and threats.

There are significant risks associated with the long-term physical changes in Earth’s climate that will have an effect on the financial and regulatory systems. Organizations who need to advance their earth cognizant activities and stay away from greenwashing ought to be sure their cases tell the truth and upheld by adequate information. Greenhouse gas emission limits and the number of government regulations are on the rise. Operational and budget planning must take into account the significant financial penalties for noncompliance as well as the additional costs of compliance.

As the climate changes, climate-dependent economic systems like agriculture and infrastructure development will face strain and stress as a result of human activity’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses can use their knowledge of the effects of climate change to prioritize the steps they need to take to reduce the risks to their operations and facilities.

For more information about our upcoming workshops, events, and webinars, check out our website or our Building a Climate Resilient Business Resource Kit. Please feel free to get in touch with Julia Kole, Coordinator for Partners in Project Green, at julia.kole@trca.ca if you have any inquiries or feedback regarding the sustainability journey of your company.

Image caption: Agriculture is one industry that is being affected by climate change, which is creating new risks like more droughts, days of extreme heat, pests, and food insecurity. Julia Kole provided the image.

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