ND-GAIN Press Releases

Annual ND-GAIN Country Index reveals biggest movers in climate change adaptation

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Contact: Alex Gumm, 574.807.9322, agumm@nd.edu

The latest data released by the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) shows governance is a major factor for countries improving preparedness for climate change. The annual ND-GAIN Country Index ranks 181 countries on vulnerability to extreme climate events such as droughts, superstorms and other natural disasters as well as readiness to successfully implement adaptation solutions.

The top five countries showing the biggest amount of improvement in preparedness over the last year were Ghana, Solomon Islands, Cape Verde, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Countries showing the least amount of improvement included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Macedonia, Burundi and Brazil – host to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

ND-GAIN researchers measure common factors of successful adaptability to climate change, such as improved economies, access to resources including reliable drinking water, agricultural capacity and political stability.

“Political changes bring opportunities for countries to improve on the overall stability of the country with regard to climate issues,” said Patrick Regan, associate director of Environmental Change Initiative for ND-GAIN and professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. “At a time when adaptation to climate change is critical, this data shows that policy makers are a key component to ensuring countries large and small are prepared to face potentially devastating natural disasters.”

The findings will be shared at the United Nations World Data Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 15-18.

More About ND-GAIN’s Biggest Movers:

  • Myanmar tops the list of those countries making improvements. The country saw sweeping political changes following decades of military rule and experienced constitutional reforms, elections and elimination of economic sanctions, and it expanded its information and communication technology infrastructure.
  • In Sri Lanka, progress has been steadily improving since violent conflict ended in 2009. Recent elections ended political corruption and, subsequently, reforms have helped improve the country’s readiness score substantially.
  • Burundi saw the least amount of progress – making it the biggest degrader in 2015. The country has suffered civil unrest and a coup was announced in May 2015, making Burundi one of the most politically unstable countries that year.

The index also measures those countries improving or degrading over a five-year period. Countries making significant improvements over a five-year period include Russia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Rwanda. Those countries whose score slipped during the same period include Syria, Cuba, Spain and Argentina.

ND-GAIN’s full country ranking as well as country profiles and visualization tools are available at index.gain.org. A webinar that discusses ND-GAIN’s new data is also available here.

The ND-GAIN Country Index aims to unlock global adaptation solutions that save lives and improve livelihoods while strengthening market positions in the private sector and policy decisions in the public sector. Measuring not only vulnerability but also the readiness to take on investment, it informs strategic, operational and reputational decisions regarding supply chains, capital projects and community engagements. The index includes 21 years of data across 45 indicators for 181 countries. ND-GAIN is housed in the Environmental Change Initiative of the University of Notre Dame.

STUDY TO ASSESS CLIMATE RESILIENCY OF MORE THAN 250 US CITIES

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Contact: Alex Gumm, 219-746-5953, agumm@nd.edu 

The University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) has announced it will assess the climate vulnerability and readiness of every U.S. city with a population over 100,000 – more than 250 in all – in an effort to help inform decisions by city officials on infrastructure, land use, water resources management, transportation and other adaptive strategies.

The Urban Adaptation Assessment (UAA), a 24-month project funded by the Kresge Foundation, will also integrate a social equity analysis, which will investigate how vulnerable groups are disproportionately harmed by climate hazards, such as extreme heat, flooding and extreme cold.

“Today policy choices regarding how to spend scarce resources to adapt to our changing climate must be articulated without the benefit of seeing how alternative choices will influence local inequities,” said Patrick Regan, associate director of ND-GAIN and professor of political science and peace studies at Notre Dame. “Our data-driven tool will help leaders understand the implications of alternative policy choices and pursue decision-making that builds resilient communities.”

ND-GAIN will collaborate with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment to compile and analyze each city’s data and produce assessments that focus on urban geographies’ vulnerabilities and how ready cities are to successfully implement adaptation solutions. The project will also examine adaptation patterns among coastal, drought-prone and single-industry cities, among other subsets.

“Protecting those least able to withstand climate impacts is a critical part of good adaptation policies,” said Lois DeBacker, managing director of the Kresge Foundation’s Environment Program, which funded ND-GAIN’s pilot study assessing five U.S. cities in 2015. DeBacker said the equity analysis is a particularly important component of adaptation planning. “We’re pleased to be able to support Notre Dame’s work in this area, and thrilled to see it expand to more than 250 municipalities.”

ND-GAIN will build upon its advisory committee of leading U.S. adaptation and social equity experts to include input from city stakeholders and community groups. An online dashboard will also be generated, allowing government, corporate and nonprofit leaders to view the assessments and manipulate the data based on their preferences.

“With the majority of our world’s population residing in cities, urban areas have a unique platform to increase the resilience of our communities, states and eventually our world.” said Meghan Doherty, program director of ND-GAIN. “It is our intention that the Urban Adaptation Assessment will cause a ripple effect of identifying key climate risks and adaptation options, calling out areas of opportunity for investment and prioritizing areas in need of adaptation resources.”

The work will complement a recent report, “Climate Adaptation: The State of Practice in U.S. Communities,” funded by Kresge and authored by Abt Associates.

To learn more about ND-GAIN’s Urban Adaptation Assessment, visit gain.org/UAA.

ND-GAIN works to provide knowledge and human resources that help governments, businesses and communities – especially the most vulnerable – adapt to the world’s changing climate. ND-GAIN is part of the Notre DameEnvironmental Change Initiative.

The Kresge Foundation seeks to help communities build resilience in the face of climate change. As a foundation committed to creating opportunity for low-income people and communities, Kresge is particularly concerned about the disproportionate effect climate change has on people with limited economic resources.

  

ND-GAIN receives 2015 CCBJ Business Achievement Award

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Contact: Joyce Coffee, Managing Director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312-894-9028, jcoffee@nd.edu

The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN) won a Business Achievement Award from the Climate Change Business Journal (CCBJ), a leading source of business intelligence in the climate industry.

CCBJ recognized ND-GAIN with the NGO Award for achieving a higher profile for analyses of the climate-readiness of nations, and for increasing support for public and private sector leaders to prioritize adaptation and resilience investments.

“Being recognized for leadership in climate adaptation and resilience inspires ND-GAIN to double down on our mission to raise the world's awareness about the need to adapt,” said Joyce Coffee, ND-GAIN managing director. “ND-GAIN looks forward to continuing our leading global work to increase the uptick in investments in vulnerable communities, especially through our current focus on both urban adaptation assessments and the growth of the adaptation market."  

ND-GAIN was also honored for:

  • Developing a Urban Adaptation Assessment in five pilot cities (Baltimore, Los Angeles, Memphis, Seattle and Davenport)
  • Publishing a study of corporate adaptation, in conjunction with Four Twenty Seven and Business for Social Responsibility that identified water scarcity as the top concern of corporations surveyed
  • Releasing the 2015 ND-GAIN Country Index, which includes new visualization tools covering 20 years of data across 180 countries
  • Hosting global adaptation webinars in Spanish and Mandarin
  • Receiving a variety of coverage in the UK newspaper The Independent, BusinessInsider, HuffingtonPost and other media prior to COP21

The 2015 Business Achievement Awards will be presented at Environmental Industry Summit XIV in San Diego, California, on March 9. 

About ND-GAIN: Part of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative, ND-GAIN’s mission is to enhance the world’s understanding of adaptation through knowledge, products and services that inform public and private actions and investments in vulnerable communities.

About EBI: Founded in 1988, Environmental Business International Inc. is a research, publishing and consulting company that specializes in defining emerging markets and generating strategic market intelligence for companies, investors and policymakers. EBI publishes Climate Change Business Journal, which covers nine segments of the Climate Change Industry.

Countries on the rebound making significant climate adaptation progress, ND-GAIN data show

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Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312-894-9028, jcoffee@nd.edu

Countries on the rebound making significant climate adaptation progress, ND-GAIN data show

In the lead-up to 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 21), 10 countries have come from behind to make marked progress in their ability to withstand the shocks and stresses of climate change, while five are distinctly less resilient, according to data released Tuesday (Nov. 17) by the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN).

ND-GAIN 2015 Movers MapClick for larger image

Over the last five years, the 10 countries that have made the biggest jump on the ND-GAIN Country Index to become better climate adapters are Cote d’Ivoire, Laos, Georgia, The Philippines, Russia, Poland, Rwanda, Mongolia, Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

These countries share improvement in common factors that have contributed to the upward movement: primarily their improving economies and improving adaptive capacities, such as increased access to reliable drinking water, improved sanitation, increased agricultural capacity and decreased slum populations and child malnutrition.

On the flip side, a set of countries is heading in the wrong direction. The countries that have deteriorated the most in their ND-GAIN score during the past five years are Libya, Syria, Cuba, Saint Kitts and Yemen.

The contributing factors to these countries’ falling scores are primarily increases in corruption, political instability, violence and poor rule of law.

“Interestingly, several countries with the biggest losses on ND-GAIN Country Index are also very fragile, suggesting a connection between climate and conflict,” notes ND-GAINscientific adviser Ian Noble. Comparing ND-GAIN to the Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index, Libya, Syria and Yemen are some of the poorest performers over the past five years on both of these indices. On the other hand, Ukraine is also doing poorly on FSI, but not on ND-GAIN, possibly because the conflict there arose from pressures outside its borders.

ND-GAIN 2015 infographicClick for larger image

The examination of biggest gainers and biggest losers on the ND-GAIN Country Index suggests that investments to increase climate adaptation may pay dividends for a country’s stability and development, and vice versa.

The ND-GAIN analysis both reinforces messages in the Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, and confirms the interrelationship of climate adaptation with many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting the collateral benefits climate action can have on key elements of well-being.

“To save lives and improve livelihoods, we must not only prevent the avoidable, but also prepare for the unavoidable changes in climate,”Joyce Coffee, managing director of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, said. “In the lead-up to the Paris Conference of the Parties next month, the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index identifies the world’s hotspots so that leaders can prioritize investments that help countries to be more adaptive to global changes.”

“The aim behind ND-GAIN’s data delivery is to provide information for the common good,” said Nitesh Chawla, index director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index. “Free and open source, the ND-GAIN Country Index also has extensive online tools that allow index users to compare asset risks and opportunities.”

The ND-GAIN Country Index aims to unlock global adaptation solutions that save lives and improve livelihoods while strengthening market positions in the private sector and policy decisions in the public sector. Measuring not only vulnerability but also the readiness to take on investment, it informs strategic, operational and reputational decisions regarding supply chains, capital projects and community engagements. The index includes 20 years of data across 46 indicators for 180 countries. ND-GAIN is housed in the Environmental Change Initiative of the University of Notre Dame.

A recording of the press event webinar is available now. 

 

Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index honors innovative climate adaptation projects

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Contact: Joyce Coffee, ND-GAIN, 574-807-9322, jcoffee@nd.edu 

Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index honors innovative climate adaptation projects

Two innovative projects that address climate change in developing countries — an imaginative program in Mozambique that produces starch for craft beer from cassava and another that helps cities worldwide develop resiliency to disaster — have won the coveted 2015 Corporate Adaptation Prize awarded by the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index.

The annual honor underscores the growing movement by multinational and local corporations to develop resourceful contributions to climate adaptation in countries that rank in the bottom 50 of the ND-GAIN’s 180-country index. The index summarizes a country’s vulnerability to global climate challenges in combination with its readiness to improve resilience.

The winners include:

  • Engineering leader AECOM and technology giant IBM, for developing a Disaster Resilience Scorecard to help communities understand, communicate and put into effect actions to reduce disaster risk and accelerate recovery from disasters. The scorecard supports the United Nation’s efforts to manage and reduce disasters by bringing together expertise and resources from the public and private sectors.
  • DADTCO, a cassava processing company, for developing a mobile cassava starch plant for processing fresh cassava close to smallholder farmers instead of transporting the highly perishable roots over long distances to a central factory. The technology unlocks the opportunity for cassava, a major food crop in Africa, to replace expensive imported cereals and boost the national economy.

The winners will be honored at an event in connection with Climate Week NYC and the United Nations Sustainability Summit on Sept. 23.

“Through this award, ND-GAIN aims to enhance the world’s understanding of the importance of adaptation,” saidJoyce Coffee, its managing director. “We encourage companies of every size to consider opportunities to increase resiliency where they do business, especially given the impact of droughts, fires, floods and superstorms on their bottom line.”

“We are very grateful and honored to receive this award as a medium-sized social enterprise,” DADTCO CEOMarius van Huijstee said. “This award recognizes that the local solutions for climate change are an important contribution to millions of the most vulnerable people. Our company is a processor of the ‘Rambo’ of the food crops: cassava. Cassava is, especially in Africa, ideal for resilience for food security of smallholder farmers. We give them a guaranteed market for their crop from which we will produce starch products that are used in the national food and beverage industry.”

“AECOM and IBM are pleased to see the Disaster Resilience Scorecard receive such a prestigious award from ND-GAIN,” Dale Sands, senior vice president and AECOM Environment global practices director, said. “Developing an impactful and user-friendly tool that supports cities and stakeholders with disaster risk reduction and preparedness is more important than ever. With capital losses resulting from increasing natural disasters, and growing urban populations and infrastructure around the world, it is critical to the sustainability and viability of our communities to adapt now to the changing climate.”

“As a result of climate change, cities and private organizations are increasingly aware of the frailties of growing urbanization and global supply chains, due to extreme events such as floods, heat waves and hurricanes,” said Peter Williams, CTO of Big Green Innovations at IBM, one of the authors of the Scorecard. “The Disaster Resilience Scorecard strives to decrease climate-related and natural disaster vulnerabilities for cities around the globe. Cities can now systematically assess their strengths and weaknesses — making their local communities smarter and safer."

Award submissions represented projects in over a dozen countries and topics ranged from reforestation, water and food to energy and health. They were evaluated on their measurable adaptation progress, scalability, market impact and partnerships.

Judges were Dan Bena, senior director of Sustainable Development and Outreach Operations, PepsiCo; Charlie Hough, vice president, Corporate Responsibility Strategy & Stakeholder Engagement, Novartis; Loren Labovitch, vice president and director of emerging markets, Hawksley Consulting; and Lisa Manley, executive vice president, Cone Communications.

Also serving as judges were Peter Mulvaney, senior manager, West Monroe Partners; Dethie Soumare Ndiaye, coordinator of the Climate Finance Unit, Centre de Suivi Ecologique; Nick Shufro, director, AR!SE and Sustainable Business Solutions, PwC; Aman Singh, vice president, Business + Social Purpose, Edelman; Chris Walker, director, United States, WBCSD; and Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D., president and CEO, Catholic Relief Charities.

Past winners include the Centre de Suivi Ecologique for its adaptation to coastal erosion; Novartis International for its Arogya Parivar “Healthy Family” initiative; Monsanto for its water-efficient maize for Africa project in partnership with the Gates Foundation and USAID; PepsiCo for its i-crop “more crop per drop” precision agriculture technology; and Ushahidi and MEDA for technology links for improved access and incomes, which provide rural farming families access to agricultural technology.

The Notre Dame Global Adaption Index’s mission is to enhance the world’s understanding of the importance of adaptation and inform private and public investments in vulnerable communities. It is part of the Climate Change Adaptation Program of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), a Strategic Research Initiative focused on “science serving society,” and draws resources from across the campus.

ND-GAIN works with corporate and development leaders to manage risks made worse by climate change. Its efforts include research, measurement and analysis, corporate engagement, and outreach. In addition to the Country Index, ND-GAIN is creating an urban adaptation assessment and leads an annual State of Corporate Adaptation Survey to help further collective understanding of best practices, barriers, enablers and strategies to prepare for climate change in the corporate world. It awards the annual ND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Prize that recognizes organizations making measurable contributions to creating adaptation to climate change, and it create forums that explore what is new in adaptation around the globe.

Climate organizations call for renewed efforts to communicate climate change knowledge and spur action

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Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312 894 9028, jcoffee@nd.edu 

This year marked the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which swept through America’s Gulf coast, wreaking a staggering USD 108 billion in damage and killing more than 1,800 people. In May of 2015, a heatwave in India cost the lives of over 2,200 people. With the number of extreme weather- and climate-related events rising worldwide, it has never been more important for policy makers, urban planners, investors, and others facing climate-related challenges to have the right information at the right time. Today a group of leading players in the climate and development fields issued a clear call for improved knowledge coordination to support action on climate change.
 
The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index worked with the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), the UN’s Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and dozens of other organizations to create a ‘Climate Knowledge Brokers Manifesto’, which sets out the key principles for exchanging and communicating information related to the climate effectively, enabling a step change in society’s response to a changing climate.
 
The Manifesto is the brainchild of the Climate Knowledge Brokers’ Group (CKB), founded in 2011 and now counting more than 100 international agencies and programs among its community (www.climateknowledgebrokers.net).
 
CKB was created in recognition that climate change has growing impacts on people’s daily lives, and will transform local environments the world over for the foreseeable future. “Knowledge needs to be translated, brokered and tailored to ensure we can all make better-informed choices as we plan for and manage the risks, trade-offs and opportunities of climate change said Florian Bauer, COO and Open Knowledge Director at the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership in Vienna, and one of the editors of the Manifesto. “But while our knowledge is technically growing, our ability to process and make use of it is not.”
 
 ND-GAIN’s managing director Joyce Coffee added “We need to increase the uptick in leaders making decisions that save lives and improve livelihoods in the face of climate change. That is why ND-GAIN addresses themes that keep executives up at night – like social, governance and economic issues, combining them with climate vulnerability information to create actionable assessments.”
 
The group defines the knowledge broker’s role as interpreting, sorting, translating, and integrating this wealth of information and tailoring it for the needs of different audiences – from government decision-makers and business leaders, urban planners and farmers, to everyday consumers and voters.
 
A short pamphlet version of the Manifesto together with a longer book version in pdf can be downloaded from http://manifesto.climateknowledgebrokers.net.

ND-GAIN joins researchers examining weather extremes and city infrastructure

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Contact: Joyce Coffee, 574-807-9322, jcoffee@nd.edu 

ND-GAIN joins researchers examining weather extremes and city infrastructure

The University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Index is joining a team of researchers who, with National Science Foundation (NSF) backing, will look at innovative ways of making urban infrastructure more resilient and equitable.

Extreme weather events can cripple crucial infrastructure that enables transit, electricity, water and other services in urban areas. This leaves cities and their citizens cut off and in danger. With weather extremes becoming more common — from devastating hurricanes and flooding to record drought and heat waves — it will be increasingly important to develop infrastructure in different, more sustainable ways.

That is the idea behind a new Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather-Related Events Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN), recently funded by NSF.

ND-GAIN joins a team led by Arizona State University researchers to participate in the five-year, $12 million Sustainability Research Networks program focusing on urban sustainability.

“Extreme events present a great challenge to global sustainability, and urban areas are particularly vulnerable to these events, often due to their location, interdependent infrastructure and people concentration,” Georgia Kosmopoulou,NSF program director in economics, said. “This SRN team will develop — through a novel, more holistic approach — methods and tools to assess how infrastructure can become more resilient providing ecosystem services in an effort to improve social well-being. The geographical breadth of the proposal is an advantage; cities that represent alternative cultural backgrounds can offer new ideas about socio-ecological-technological infrastructure.”

“The team’s holistic approach to urban infrastructure, evaluating the social, ecological and technical systems related to infrastructure, draws on ND-GAIN’s strengths and helps us to further focus on our efforts to save lives and improve livelihoods,” Joyce Coffee, ND-GAIN’s managing director, said. “The project complements our Urban Adaptation Assessment work and allows us to leverage existing resources to maximize our impact in the U.S.”

ND-GAIN seeking applications for Corporate Adaptation Prize

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Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, ND-GAIN, 574-807-9322, jcoffee@nd.edu

ND-GAIN seeking applications for Corporate Adaptation Prize

 

The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN) at the University of Notre Dame is accepting applications for theND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Prize, which recognizes projects that have made measurable contributions in creating resilience or adaptation to climate change.

Past winners of the prize include PepsiCo, Novartis, Ushahidi, Monsanto and Engineers Without Borders.

This year’s winners will demonstrate meaningful impacts in an emerging economy that decrease vulnerability and increase readiness by enhancing food security, water access, sanitation, coastal protection, ecosystem services, human habitats, infrastructure resiliency or human health, or by improving economic, social or governance function.

Projects must be led by either a multinational corporation or a local corporation working on a project in a lower-income country, and must include collaboration with local partners. Project applications will be judged on their measurable adaptation impact, scalability (relative within their category — multinational or local corporations) and market impact. Prize winners will also be consistent with the University of Notre Dame’s mission.

The judges for this year’s prize include Dan Bena, PepsiCo; Nick Shufro, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Ryan Schuchard, Business for Social Responsibility; Aman Singh, Edelman; Lisa Manley, Edelman; Chris Walker, World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Peter Mulvaney, West Monroe Partners; Carolyn Woo, Catholic Relief Services; Charlie Hough, Novartis; Loren Labovitch, MWH Global; and Dethie S. Ndiaye, Centre Suivi Ecologique.

The prize application is due July 31 (Friday), and the winner(s) and honorable mentions will be announced at an awards event at Climate Week New York in September and to the national and international media.

The simple six-question application can be submitted online at gain.org/nd-gain-prize.

The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index promotes adaptation by identifying the places most vulnerable to extreme weather and changing climate and identifying real-world solutions that can prevent these changes from becoming disasters. Its flagship asset is the free and open-source Country Index, the world’s leading index showing which countries are prepared to handle global changes brought about by overcrowding, resource constraints and climate disruption that ranks countries based on their vulnerability and, uniquely, how ready they are to adapt.

ND-GAIN works with corporate and development leaders to manage risks made worse by climate change. Its efforts include research, measurement and analysis, corporate engagement, and outreach. In addition to the Country Index, ND-GAIN leads an annual State of Corporate Adaptation Survey, to help further collective understanding of best practices, barriers, enablers and strategies to prepare for climate change in the corporate world; awards the ND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Prize, a yearly prize that recognizes organizations that have made measurable contributions to creating adaptation to climate change; and creates forums for influencers to discuss what is new in adaptation around the globe.

ND-GAIN’s mission is to enhance the world’s understanding of the importance of adaptation and inform private and public investments in vulnerable communities. It is part of the Climate Change Adaptation Program of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), a strategic research initiative focused on “science serving society,” and draws resources from across the campus.

Thirty percent of corporations say climate change has impacted business materially

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Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312-894-9028,jcoffee@nd.edu; Aleka Seville, director of advisory services, Four Twenty Seven Inc., 415-722-0836,aseville@427mt.com

 

Thirty percent of corporations say climate change has impacted business materially

An inaugural survey examining how corporations are addressing the need to adapt their business operations to changing climate conditions reveals that 30 percent already have experienced a material impact to their business operations from climate events. It also found that 30 percent of respondents across a wide range of sectors don’t have a climate adaptation plan or strategies in place.

The University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Index(ND-GAIN) and Four Twenty Seven, a climate risk and adaptation consultancy, with support from Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), launched and published the “2015 Corporate Adaptation Report” to generate insights into whether and how enterprises are preparing for the physical impacts of climate change. The report is expected to further the collective understanding of best practices, barriers and enablers, and strategies to prepare for climate change in the corporate world.

Key findings from 2015 State of Corporate Adaptation Survey include:

  • More than 70 percent of surveyed companies say they’re at least “somewhat concerned” that climate change will have a material impact on their value chain, in particular their supply chain, distribution and customers and markets.
  • Two-thirds of the respondents expressed concern over increased operational and capital costs and reported they had already experienced cost increases or thought they were a likely outcome.
  • Water scarcity and political instability driven by climate change are cited as the top two anticipated risks across sectors. Water scarcity emerged as the climate hazard of greatest concern for corporations, with 16 percent citing it as a risk, followed by social and political instability driven by climate change, at slightly above 14 percent.

“Companies understand that climate change impacts include more extreme weather events, but they have not yet figured out how to address these new complex risks that are outside of their sphere of control,” Emilie Mazzacurati, CEO of Four Twenty Seven, said. “There is a great need for innovation to help corporations think outside of their walls.”

“As leaders prepare for the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties on climate change in December in Paris, the 2015 Corporate Adaptation Report shows climate change is impacting the corporate bottom line, and there is opportunity to increase their preparedness,” ND-GAIN managing director Joyce Coffee said.

Cammie Erickson, manager of partnership development and research at BSR, noted an increased focus on adaptation from many of BSR’s members. “We look forward to continuing to help companies build resilience in their operations and supply chains through our Regional Adaptation Initiative.”

The survey evolved out of a growing understanding that climate risk is a critical issue for corporations. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report ranks failure to adapt to climate change as fifth among 28 risks that could harm countries or industries.

The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index is a practical solution to the world’s climate problem. It promotes adaptation by identifying the places most vulnerable to extreme weather and changing climate and identifying real-world solutions that can prevent these changes from becoming disasters. Its flagship asset is the free and open-source Country Index, the world’s leading index showing which countries are prepared to handle global changes brought about by overcrowding, resource-constraints and climate disruption.

 

Inaugural survey on the state of corporate adaptation underway

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Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312-894-9028jcoffee@nd.edu

ND-GAIN

Inaugural survey on the state of corporate adaptation underway

The University of Notre Dame’s Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN) and Four Twenty Seven, with support from Business for Social Responsibility, have launched the inaugural State of Corporate Adaptation survey to provide unprecedented insight on how private sector players are addressing the need to adapt complex business operations to a changing climate.

The goal of this survey is to understand whether and how corporations are preparing for the physical impacts of climate change. The survey data will help further collective understanding of best practices, barriers and enablers, and strategies to prepare for climate change in the corporate world.

The need for the survey is driven by a growing understanding of climate risk. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report ranks failure to adapt to climate change as fifth among 28 risks that could harm countries or industries. For the past several years, the CDP supply-chain analysis has revealed that more than 70 percent of corporate respondents envisioned risks to their supply chain from climate disruption.

The survey can be accessed here. All responses must be received by April 5 (Sunday). Survey responses are confidential. Individual responses will not be published. Aggregated survey results will be released in a public report summarizing corporate adaptation practices along with practical guidance and ideas for next steps in corporate adaptation at theNational Adaptation Forum on May 11 (Monday).

The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index is a practical solution to the world’s climate problem. It promotes adaptation by identifying the places most vulnerable to extreme weather and changing climate and identifying real-world solutions that can prevent these changes from becoming disasters. Its flagship asset is the free and open-source Country Index, the world’s leading index showing which countries are prepared to handle global changes brought about by overcrowding, resource-constraints and climate disruption.

Its mission is to enhance the world’s understanding of the importance of adaptation and inform private and public investments in vulnerable communities. ND-GAIN is part of the Climate Change Adaptation Program of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), a Strategic Research Initiative focused on “science serving society,” and draws resources from across the campus.

Four Twenty Seven is an award-winning climate risk consulting firm dedicated to providing innovative tools and services to organizations seeking to understand climate impacts, assess risks to their operations or their stakeholders, and increase their resilience by developing and implementing climate adaptation measures. Its applications blend economic modeling and climate science to deliver actionable intelligence. It serves Fortune 500 corporations concerned that extreme weather events will disrupt their supplier network, halt operations and cost millions of dollars in lost production and sales. Its supply chain application, developed in partnership with Climate Earth, is the first enterprise-quality application enabling large corporations to quickly map and quantify global supply chain risks due to climate change. The application was awarded the 2014 Environmental Business Journal Award for Technology Merit in Climate Change Risk Management. Four Twenty Seven was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. The name Four Twenty Seven is a reference to California’s 2020 emissions target, 427 million metric tons of carbon.

Since 1992, Business for Social Responsibility has been providing socially responsible business solutions to many of the world’s leading corporations. Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and China, Business for Social Responsibility is a nonprofit business association that serves its 250 member companies and other Global 1000 enterprises. Through advisory services, convenings and research, BSR works with corporations and concerned stakeholders of all types to create a more just and sustainable global economy.

 

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