26 July 2008

Review: Climate Change: What's Your Business Strategy?

No matter what your company does or where it's located Climate Change is going to have an impact on your business.

As CEO, it is imperative you understand the potential impacts and opportunities presented by the issue.

But with the tremendous amount of noise out there, on both sides of the issue, it may be difficult to sift through it to find the right information to inform your business decisions and strategy.

Along comes a slim volume in Harvard Business Press' Memo to the CEO series, Climate Change: What's Your Business Strategy? by Andrew J. Hoffman and John G. Woody.

Short enough to read on your next transcontinental or international flight, this book provides all the background, current thinking about impacts and opportunities, and upcoming policy decisions that will affect your business.

You will also learn how some of the most successful companies are getting ahead of the game. Companies like SwissRe, which has come up with a three-tiered approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), or Duke Energy, which is anticipating regulations to come and making sure they have a seat at the table when they are secured.

Hoffman, associate director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, and Woody, a deal associate at MMA Renewable Ventures, have devised a simple, three-step approach for you to follow to best position your company.

Beginning with understanding your company's carbon footprint and taking action to reduce its size, Hoffman and Woody walk you through assessing the business opportunities and how to influence policy as it's being developed.

"Some business associations and lobbyists still dispute the science of climate change, but their numbers are dwindling," the authors conclude. "And businesses themselves are focusing on the undeniable economics of the problem. While some companies are adapting out of near-term operational necessity, others are acting to mitigate long-term strategic vulnerabilities, and the most forward-thinking are seizing on new business opportunities created by climate change and devising ways to make money from clean energy and efficient technology."

Pick up Climate Change: What's Your Business Strategy? and read it, have your management team read it, and then decide what your company needs to do to stay ahead in the game.