Lessons from the development and implementation of business adaptation strategies

19:00 Tuesday 28 May




Thais Camolesi Guimaraes (Brazil) 1; Mariana Xavier Nicolletti 2

1 - Maynooth University; 2 - Getulio Vargas Foundation

Business sector engagement on climate change adaptation is fundamental as there are material risks and opportunities to business; moreover, companies can bring relevant contributions to the adaptation and risk management agendas. In order to support business to elaborate adaptation strategies and action plans, the Business for Climate Platform, a network from the Center for Sustainability Studies at Getulio Vargas Foundation, in Brazil, has developed a framework and a tool together with a group of companies and partners. Studies and tools of the United Kingdom’s Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) essentially inspired the Tool’s elaboration.

The steps on the framework and tool are divided into three stages and are applicable for companies of any sector, size and geographical location. The first stage – diagnosis – aims to access the internal (e.g. organization’s culture, processes) and external (e.g. past climatic events, present and future regulations) context of the company, as well as map and prioritize climate risks and opportunities for the organization. The second stage – plan – involves an action plan to respond to priority risks and opportunities. This stage should include actions and priority investments, deadlines and targets. Finally, the third stage – implementation – involves monitoring, feedback and communication to stakeholders.

By following the steps proposed by the Tool, companies can organize and systematize information to better understand which climate change impacts are material, what risks and opportunities they represent for business, and elaborate an action plan to avoid or mitigate major risks and develop opportunities. The Tool also guides the users towards mobilising and engagement internal and external collaborators and partners.

Since 2014, nine pilot projects have been developed with companies. This presentation aims to share the lessons learned from business adaptation strategies in Brazil, compiling the challenges that companies addressed while filling out each step, as well as the solutions found by them through interactions with other companies and FGVces’ team within a community of practice.

Reasons abound for companies to get involved with the adaptation agenda. Although there are challenges faced by the business sector in order to draw consistent adaptation strategies, the challenges are not a reason for inaction. In this sense, it is pivotal to disseminate ways to develop a business or organizational plan and mainly to inspire other companies, through the lessons learnt and solutions already found.