18 May 2016

Described as a call to action to all UK businesses, a new report urges companies to increase their resilience to extreme weather by preparing for the challenges of climate change.

Published by the Environment Agency, it shows how businesses view the risks and opportunities presented by future climate change and severe weather.

The report reveals that approximately one business opportunity is identified for every three risks reported and highlights that a large majority (86%) of companies have identified one or more climate-related risks.

However, almost half (44%) of them do not know the financial costs of climate impacts and, of the risks identified, a third (34%) are being managed using a low-cost "business-as-usual" approach.

The Agency report shows how businesses that manage climate risks are already reaping benefits, including cost savings, enhanced reputation and better financial resilience.

They are also proving more attractive to investors as they are creating opportunities to supply climate-related products and services.

With world-class expertise in relevant areas, including manufacturing, environmental and engineering consultancy and construction, the Agency argues that the UK is well placed to benefit from increasing demand around the world for products and services that can help manage climate change impacts.

Planning now for the impacts of severe weather and a changing climate makes good business sense, the Agency's Emma Howard Boyd said, adding: "We want UK businesses to be resilient to extreme weather, to be prepared for future risks, and to seek opportunities, where they can, from a changing climate."

The Environment Agency study is based on evidence from Carbon Disclosure Project surveys and on interviews with leading businesses.