Business Strategies and Climate Change—Prototype Development and Testing of a User Specific Climate Service Product for Companies
AbstractCompanies are increasingly concerned with current and future climate change risks and opportunities that have the potential to generate a substantial change in their business operations, revenue and/or expenditure. Against this background, the paper presents and discusses the methodology and results from a joint activity carried out by the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), the management consultancy CSR Management Services, as well as the German 2° Foundation and eight of its supporting companies in Germany. Based on the practical requirement to develop a novel approach to increase awareness for companies to adapt to climate change, a questionnaire has been co-developed as a novel “Company Analysis Tool”, which considers the influence of climate change on key business indicators and planning strategies. Additionally, a first implementation and testing of the “Company Analysis Tool” took place, whereby 35 interviews have been carried out with the top-level management involved. Therefore the main objective was to raise awareness for climate change and the need for adaptation measures. The paper presents and discusses the methodology, practical implementation, results and lessons learned as part of this prototype development and testing of a climate service product for companies. One main outcome of the project was to learn about the crucial importance of closely integrating companies in the development of a climate service product at an early stage and on an equal footing. Besides awareness raising and a company-specific analysis, the detailed reflection of climate change opportunities and risks has also been of great interest and importance for the participating companies. Therefore our approach with a clear focus on companies’ specific challenges in different sectors proved to be a useful climate service product, with results of high relevance for adaptation practice and business.