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Business Planning for Climate Change


November 19, 2012

Environmental Claims Journal, 23(3–4):190–198, 2011
Link to article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10406026.2011.593452

Exponent Scientist’s Dr. Charles Menzie, Dr. Robin Cantor, and Dr. Paul Boehm recently published an article in the Environmental Claims Journal about business planning in the face of climate change. The ability to predict the timing and magnitude of future climate and temperature changes at a regional level has become increasingly important for corporate decision making and enterprise risk management. In the short term, companies could face decisions about acquisitions of water-dependent companies and natural resources or might be planning facilities or operations in communities vulnerable to erosion and flooding, changes in water supplies, and increasing health-care costs. In the intermediate term, companies need to assess these vulnerabilities to determine appropriate insurance coverage, plan for new infrastructure, implement preventative health-care programs, or protect natural resources.

A technical approach needs to involve predictive tools that can provide bounding estimates at regional scales. The implications of those changes need to be translated to consequences that can affect specific businesses. Corporations must be cognizant of the uncertainties in this forecasting process and for that reason it is essential to link the likelihood of outcomes with the magnitudes of consequences. This article outlines an approach that is gaining traction as a way to address this complex matter.

Charles Menzie is director of Exponent’s EcoSciences Practice and specializes in the application of environmental risk assessment and causal analysis methods to a broad range of issues including climate changes. Robin Cantor is a principal at Exponent and specializes in applied economics including health, environmental and energy economics, statistics, risk management, product liability, and insurance claims analysis. Paul Boehm is group vice president providing leadership for Exponent’s Environmental Group. He specializes in environmental chemistry, forensics, and energy-related matters.