Severe Weather Conditions and Their Impact on Business

The recent scorching weather across the world has had an impact on businesses everywhere. Earth.org writes that it is not clear whether climate change is causing higher mean annual temperatures; In the UK, for example, there has been an average increase of 4.2C in temperatures compared to the pre-1990 baseline.

From June to August 2022, persistent heatwaves have affected parts of Europe, causing evacuations and heat-related deaths. The highest temperature ever recorded was 47.0 °C (116.6 °F) in Pinho, Portugal, on 14 July. During this heatwave, more than 12,000 people died from heat stroke or other causes, making it the deadliest natural event since the 2011 East Africa drought, and the deadliest heatwave since the 2010 Russian heatwave.

One study found that Australia’s wildfire season has extended by almost a month in 40 years; The season now lasts 130 days and will continue longer, even if global heating is kept to 1.5°C. And in the US, a historic heat wave affected the midwestern United States and the southeastern United States in the second week of June 2022 – in Phoenix, a daily record was tied, as temperatures soared to 114 °F (45.6 °C). had risen, and a record temperature of 108 °F (42 °C) was recorded in Platte, Nebraska, to the north.

By 2100, scientists predict that heat waves, once a rare phenomenon, will occur every year, especially in the summer months from May to September.

Earth.org says that in the UK, the ten warmest years since 1884 have occurred since 2002. The trouble is that by 2090 the likelihood of exceeding 40C is predicted to be 1 in 15 and up to about 1 in 5 in a moderate carbon emissions scenario. Under a high emissions scenario. In comparison, in 1970 the risk was closer to 1 in 1,000. Given the extraordinary heatwave the UK has recently gone through, it seems that this prediction has become a reality much earlier than expected. Thus, the case made in recent times by the University of Cambridge and myriad other scientists is that Britain and Europe are witnessing the early effects of ‘anthropogenic’ (man-made) climate warming.

In the UK at least, there is currently some policy vacuum due to political laxity, so there isn’t a lot of focus on the heatwave and its implications for furthering strategy and business. But it doesn’t require businesses to stop lobbying, nor really get their own acts together both against the commercial effects of climate change and to accelerate the overall necessary transition to lower emissions. .

Water

Clearly, water supply is a business imperative, from top-notch industrial processes to taps in homes and businesses – and water supplies are largely influenced by climate.

The Environment Agency (EA) says its emergency national drought group met to discuss the response to Britain’s driest summer in fifty years and the need for continued action. The group discussed the current approach and the associated risks and impacts, agreed to work collaboratively in all areas to balance water needs and conserve water.

More than half of the UK is currently in a state of drought. The EA advises that the public and businesses should be very mindful of the pressure on water resources and use water wisely. EA says, “But while there is an important role for individuals to manage their usage in a sustainable manner, the government expects water companies to reduce leakage and fix leaking pipes as soon as possible, and with government policy.” Will work to take comprehensive action.”

Against Bloomberg It is written that the extent of water leakage in England is considerable. The Green Party claims that three billion liters are wasted every day, while a recent Times report puts the number at 2.4 billion.

Thames Water said On its website that it leaks 24 percent of the water it supplies. Given the ban on the hosepipe and criticism of companies’ performance, executive pay levels in the industry have come under the spotlight.

The Thames Water website says: “Every day we supply 2.6 billion liters of water, but that’s not all our customers get. At present, we leak about 24 per cent of the water we supply. We know that losing that much precious water is not acceptable and we have a plan to fix it. It’s not going to happen soon, but we are making progress.”

Critics draw attention to the fact that Thames Water chief executive Sarah Bentley was paid more than £2 million in 2022, a 66 percent increase from £1.2 million a year earlier. The company said this was partly due to compensation in addition to money owed at his previous job.

The overall consensus in the media and the public seems to be that water companies are largely underperforming, largely ignored by an unaffiliated or toothless regulator, OFWAT.

For corporates, “we don’t know when the drought is going to end”, Thames Water’s director of strategy and regulatory affairs, Katherine Ross, said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio. Ross said that while there were no current plans to go beyond the hosepipe ban, the company could be forced to act “with a heavy heart” if the problem worsens. All this represents an unacceptable disconnect between policy, regulatory and private, often public, foreign-owned businesses supplying essential UK services.

In a new era of more regular heatwaves, there is a strong need for heavy lobbying efforts on the part of corporates to solve the water farago, before inactivity impacts operations, profitability and the key products and services they offer. It’s logic.

small business hit

There are other, seemingly archaic elements of the UK business that may need an overhaul in the event of more and longer heatwaves. Small Business Association (FSB) is calling on the government to address a little-known tax wrinkle that plagues small businesses with air conditioning.

Currently the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) says that having air conditioning adds value to the property. As a result, small businesses face higher rate bills. It includes most of the business premises including offices, shops and industrial units.

“The time has come for the government to remove this aircon tax and help the country’s workers stay calm in the heat of the future,” said FSB chairman of Advocacy and Policy, Martin McTeague.

“With the temperature rising in the country’s shops, offices and industrial units, it is absurd that a business owner should be surrounded by a huge tax bill to invest in his business and try to keep workers calm and business productive. is taken.

“This is just one example of how unfair and regressive the system is, let alone profit, before they make their first penny in turnover.”

It appears VOA already uses hefty commercial rates as a means to further raise bills that include CCTV systems, fire alarms, elevators and solar panels, the last of which is a necessary investment, in the future heatwaves. should continue.

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logistics and location

supply chain consulting group notes that one area where businesses are not bound by government decisions includes weather planning and supply flexibility – increasingly relevant in warmer climates.

It writes that in the UK, retailers and suppliers can purchase weather forecasting services from the Met Office. The technology has become highly sophisticated; Advances mean that next week’s weather can now be forecast to a high degree of reliability. We are increasingly able to rely on regional and local weather forecasts to make informed business decisions.

Unfortunately, however, according to the Met Office, at least a third of retailers and their suppliers do not use weather data in their supply chains – despite the fact that half of UK companies take the weather out of their business at the top. as one of three factors. that drives consumer demand.

Among their current users in a Met Office survey this year, 62 percent reported improved customer service. They also affirm better sales forecasting accuracy (57 percent) and better on-shelf availability (51 percent) as well as less waste (43 percent). The top uses for weather data among retailers were short-term sales forecasting, planning stock availability, and scheduling product delivery from the distribution center to the store.

In any case, the key point is that the flexibility of the business through planning is going to become more important in the future. The weather office option is a good example but requires comprehensive planning on every aspect of a business affected by future weather.

The logic seems to be that now is neither the time to rely on the government to intervene, nor really to take the best course. Businesses must take the lead on climate resilience to prevent the effects of weather on business, and action begins today. It is recommended to conduct a comprehensive audit of how heatwaves affect every aspect of performance.

Severe Weather Conditions and Their Impact on Business

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