Businesses must consider the future financial costs of climate change according to the authors of a new climate change adaptation report prepared for one of the UK's largest social housing providers.
As part of an Innovate UK project led by the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership with Daniel Black & Associates, researchers at the University of Bath and University of Manchester mapped key risk factors from climate change for leading housing, care and support services provider Aster Group.
From countering the effects of extreme winter weather to summer heat waves, the report highlights three main risk factors to address for the Aster Group. Focusing on flooding, subsidence, and the risk of over-heating for elderly residents, the report pinpoints detailed cost implications for the organisation were no actions to be taken.
Projecting forward under different scenarios, their findings suggest that costs from extreme weather events could increase by a factor of 10 with climate change over the next 35 years. As such, they suggest targeted investments now would make significant financial savings in the future.
This highlights both the economic costs to an organisation in repairing physical damage which may arise, but also some of the broader economic costs, including the impact of stress and mental health to occupants, as well as potential reputational damage.
The report will be used to inform business planning for the Aster Group, but has implications across other sectors too. As the researchers suggest, whereas some organisations have made provisions to adapt to climate change many others, including many smaller organisations, still have not.
Tom Downing (GCAP) led this business-academic partnership.