Has your business been affected by the recent intense heat waves?

Our world is getting hotter, but here in the UK we  have historically built our infrastructure around a temperate climate. Not only do we as businesses and individuals need to address the causes of this heating, we also need to mitigate and adapt to the challenges of these increasingly severe weather events.

I remember being in Kuala Lumpur in the early 90’s; there was an epic downpour which I considered biblical in UK terms but happens each day in the rainy season – the water literally disappeared, and life continued as usual. The infrastructure in Malaysia is designed for known weather conditions, as historically ours is in the UK, but drastic and rapid change to our weather is happening and we need to start to design for extreme and intense rain, heat, and wind. 

These events are happening more often and will increase going forward. The warmest 7 years have been since 2015, with 2022 breaking previous record temperatures. This is alongside increasing flooding from storm conditions, bursting rivers, and lower laying land. Whilst we are officially now in drought here in Devon, the dry earth means that flash surface flooding from heavy rainfall is more likely – the more the soil dries out, the slower it able to absorb water as it becomes more densely packed.

Floods in Shropshire, England, February 2022. Photo: Shropshire Council

These events will have a direct or indirect impact on your ability to function as a business, from your supply chain and delivery ability to your consumers, employees or energy suppliers. Those businesses with global supply chains will be even more exposed to the climate change impacts.

It is worth building mitigation and adaptation planning into your company risk registers, alongside your net zero plans.

We would like to know if you were affected by the latest heatwave and how you went about solving the arising issues. Also, whether it has encouraged you to make a plan to mitigate against future disruptions. Please comment below and share your experiences below.

– Tom Bedwell, Sustainability Advisor, Sustainable Business Resource