How Extreme Weather Affects Your Business


Whether you believe in climate change or not, be it human induced or part of the natural earth cycle, we cannot deny that extreme weather continues to dominate the global landscape.

Insurance firm Zurich published research showing that 64 per cent of UK businesses have suffered supply chain disruptions due to extreme weather conditions. According to a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) report, 93 per cent of managers suffered disruptions in their organisation as a result of last winter’s harsh weather.

In January of this year, the US also saw output fall by 0.8 per cent in some parts of the country due to severe weather. It was the largest decline to occur in over four years. In the Shetlands, a fish farm lost over 150,000 salmon due to severe winds and seas. What remained had to be relocated while a monetary value of losses and cost of repairs has yet to be finalised.

The graph above illustrates some of the main causes for supply chain disruption. Businesses need to start assessing their risks and vulnerabilities, ensuring that they have simple contingency and continuity plans in place. They need to be prepared for, and not just reacting to, extreme weather conditions. It does not have to be a lengthy or costly process to ensure vigilance; simply asking “what if”, with regards to adverse weather and how it may affect your business operations, can make the difference. Here are 4 points to help any business prepare and plan for future extreme weather conditions:

1. Assess the risks and act accordingly

    • How have past weather events affected your business and your region? What are your vulnerabilities? Think market; regulation and compliance; operation and logistics; finance; people – consumers and employees; premises; and the reputation of your business.

2. Review your own, and your suppliers’, financial and physical supply chain issues and adapt your business’ continuity strategy accordingly

    • Consider all areas of your business and make changes where necessary.

3. Ensure you have a plan B

    • Do you have remote access to e-mails, stocks, reports, financials, contact details etc.?

4. Share resources and concerns with your local government and business community.

    Working collaboratively with Government, local authorities and your fellow businesses will help you prepare ahead for potential weather extremes.

Alfa Energy Group

Alfa Energy Group, an Edison Energy company, is an international energy, sustainability and technology consultant partner with 250 employees over 3 international locations. For over 25 years, Alfa has been servicing its clients’ needs through energy and water management, sustainability, and compliance consulting, and an intuitive ecosystem of user-driven energy, water, and carbon management software platforms. With coveted awards, an international industry-wide recognition, and clever simple solutions, today Alfa is partnering with clients to establish and deliver pivotal net zero strategies. Through smart energy management, the expertise and diligence of its people, transparent processes, and data management, Alfa continues to lead through its recognised gold standard of service delivery.