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Why are businesses interested in Environment and Climate Change?

"Any action with a horizon of five years or more falls under the need to address the effects of Climate Change."

Regardless of size or sector of activity, businesses can in any case contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In short, the Environment and Climate Agreements expect from businesses, first and foremost, but also public organisations such as local government, to act responsibly and then to seek opportunities to solve social and environmental challenges/issues through business innovation and cooperation. And indeed, Environment and Climate Change issues need solutions on which businesses can contribute as they are an important part of the economy and rely heavily on innovation.

The transformation of classic business models into "impact business models" and the integration of Sustainable Development Goals into their corporate strategy, on one hand, allow companies to create environmental and social value through their adjusted business practices, products and services. on the other hand, they help to address very serious environmental and social issues.

When referring to the term “Sustainability”, in addition to the dimension of social responsibility and innovation for the companies themselves, we must also note the business practice of examining certain plans and decisions (eg investments) for which a company undertakes business LONG TERM commitment, for a horizon of 10 to 20 or more years. Taking into account this dimension, it is expected that the way of evaluating long-term plans will change significantly, in addition to the credit policy measures already taken. So, it seems that almost any action with a horizon of five years or more falls under the need to consider the effects of Climate Change. For Greece, for example, the rise in temperature is estimated to be accompanied by more widespread heat waves, reduced precipitation, desertification of areas, increased risk of fires and possible increase in the transmission of infectious diseases (eg mosquitoes due to poor air quality) . As a classic example concerning the impact of Climate Change, we could use one by definition long-term parameter of business behavior, a loan obligation (eg for the construction of warehouse, construction of industrial facilities, etc.). Such an obligation forces us to make sure that at the time of repayment as a borrower / investor the business will be viable, ie it will be free from environmental and climate issues, so that it can repay the investment. So the usual five-year plans are not enough, because we have to cover longer periods of time for which usual "business" practices are not adequate.

Additional tools are required to accommodate forecasting for longer periods

​Today, the practices followed by most companies for controlling and reporting on forecasted financial data do not reach a depth of twenty years or more. Additional tools are required, which will assist the forecasting process:

  • initially at the level of scientific observations and databases, and,

  • then at the level of "translation" of this data into economically assessable and measurable quantities.

It is clear that the whole task requires the participation of environmental scientists along with other specialties of analysts, consultants and economists, in order to identify, interpret and predict physical parameters (temperature, floods, sea level change) and other quality parameters (eg emissions of gas pollutants, environmental pollution in general, changes in geomorphology and ecosystem) as well as to assess the possibility of business risks (or opportunities) because of these.


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