Here’s how the climate change crisis could impact business operations and policies in 2022

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The climate change crisis, which keeps getting worse, is expected to have a greater impact on the operations and policies of businesses and organizations this year. Here’s how experts and observers think it will happen.

More pressure to decarbonize operations

Pamela Chasek is a professor of political science at Manhattan College where she heads the political science department. She said that “in 2022, there will be considerable pressure on governments and the private sector to continue efforts to decarbonize operations, while making the necessary efforts to adapt their operations to an ever-warming planet.

“Governments cannot fight climate change and limit global warming to 1.5°C without the private sector playing its part. There will definitely be increased pressure on businesses and societies in 2022,” she said.

More responsibility

Jeff Perlman is the founder and CEO of Bright Power, which provides energy and management services. He said: “With buildings contributing nearly 40% of global carbon emissions, more companies will be held accountable for the carbon footprint of their physical spaces.

“They will do so either out of a desire to reduce their negative impact on the environment, or to appeal to the growing number of climate-conscious consumers, or to reduce their energy costs,” he said.

Greater reliance on technology

Pearlman said: “To achieve this, business owners will turn to technology – including real-time energy management to actively manage and monitor energy consumption, clean on-site generation such as photovoltaic solar energy, heat pumps for water and space heating without fossil fuels – to mitigate negative environmental impacts.

Regulatory Carrots And Sticks

“If they don’t act, regulations at the local, state and federal levels can force their hand. Lawmakers will use both the carrot and the stick to reduce energy use and carbon emissions, making it financially damaging not to act, as with the proliferation of building performance standards in cities like New York. , Boston and Washington, DC,” he concluded.

Increased transparency

Abhilasha Purwar is CEO and Founder of Blue Sky Analytics and part of Al Gore TRACE Climate Initiative. She predicted that 2022 will be “the year of radical transparency – the year when technology catches up with its promise”.

She noted that “$17 billion of private capital has been invested in climate technology [in 2020]; in 2021 this number [was projected to surpass] $40 billion. This investment is sparking a data revolution for mapping, monitoring and mitigation like never before.

“Now emissions can be tracked in real time with unprecedented accuracy; natural assets like forests can be monitored at a more granular level than ever before [before]. Access to this data provides a major competitive advantage to businesses around the world,” Purwar said.

Advice for entrepreneurs

Adapt new environmental practices

Ran Korber, The CEO and co-founder of BreezoMeter warned that “companies that do not adopt new environmental practices – or fail to consider climate change when developing their product roadmaps – will experience a drop in consumers and will start to move away from these companies”.

He said business leaders need to start taking these proactive and reactive steps:

Give up symbolic gestures. “Consumers have been directly exposed to the real impacts of climate change this year with record-breaking wildfires and the worst air pollution the United States has ever seen. Now that they are painfully aware it is affecting them directly , they will no longer be amused by distant climate initiatives with iconic names like “Vision 2030.” Consumers need to see action now.

Do not wait for a drastic change. “Start making small changes to your environmental practices now. Companies need to look at all aspects of their business, from production and supply chain to packaging and last mile delivery (depending on what the company does). For large companies, even small changes in these areas will have a significant environmental impact that they can report now, while addressing longer-term practices over time.

Introduce new products and/or features that reflect consumer health and safety. “Consider how climate change is affecting the air your customers or users breathe, how increased fires are threatening their way of life, and how things like pollen and pollution are putting them at health risk. Your product is able to protect them from these factors or sensitize them in some way?Consider introducing features or products that can.

Adapt or update climate-related objectives

Manhattan College’s Chasek said, “If it hasn’t already been done, 2022 could be a good time for companies to adopt or increase their own climate-related goals, including carbon neutrality, energy, the use of renewable energy, and carbon offset programs.

“These internal policies can help prepare companies for future regulations by investing now in reducing emissions. It also makes good business sense, because not only can they save money, usually through energy and operational efficiency, as well as lower production costs, but setting climate-related targets can protect and enhance their reputation with customers and shareholders.

Provide a rational and pragmatic vision to stakeholders

Andrew Poreda, ESG Research Analyst at Sage Advisory Services, said: “The best action a CEO can take in 2022 is [to provide] stakeholders with a rational and pragmatic vision of how the company’s economic model takes into account the fight against climate change.

“With the current economic and political landscape in the United States, a cohesive strategy incorporating climate change may not bring immediate benefits. However, companies must play the long game. A good plan will not only provide benefits in the event of future regulatory or legislative changes, but can also create value by increasing buy-in from key stakeholders.Many consumers and employees are deeply concerned about the environment, so having a vision that resonates will be a big differentiator.

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