Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Environmental risk

1:50 AM Posted by: Slamun Atlanta 0 comments

Does the term ‘environmental risk’ conjure up images of risk to business by environmental activities or risk to the environment by business activities? It’s an interesting – and interlinked – question. When businesses talk about environmental risk, more often than not the risk is taken to mean risk from the environment rather than risk to the environment. More companies are concerned by the risk that environmental factors can have upon operations and profitability than the impact that running a business has upon the environment. The effect the environment can have upon a business is particular to that operation; in other words, no two businesses will be affected in the same way, and the results can be devastating. The effect of recent summers’ torrential rain and flooding has shown how business and communities can be left in ruins. Incredibly, according to the Environment Agency, small businesses are now more at risk of flooding than of fire. The need to have emergency plans in place in the event of business disruption emanating from such natural phenomena is obvious.
Conversely, the effect of one business upon the environment cannot be taken in isolation; its effect is cumulative and contributes to change on a global scale. Despite the best efforts of the recent Republican candidate for the US vice-presidency, Sarah Palin, to advise us to the contrary, few remain in doubt that human behaviour is having a fundamental impact on accelerating and worsening climate change.

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