Natural Disasters Bigger Threat to World’s Top Companies

According to the Carbon Disclosure Project, rising seas, hurricanes and drought are becoming more and more important threats to the world’s largest firms and the risk is increasing.

Firms planning for different threats linked to climate change say they are coping now with the potential risks.

The results indicate that climate change is impacting company operations, and that a lot of companies expect it to hamper sales or raise costs.

Roughly 60 businesses revealed risks arising from the earth’s swiftly changing atmosphere. These included higher winter heating expenses, slowing demand for cold-weather clothing, increasing insurance premium, rising costs for raw materials and buildings destroyed by hurricanes.

Hewlett-Packard Co. said that sales dropped as much as 7% after floods in Thailand in 2011 resulted in a shortage in disc-drive parts.

Operational Threats

The businesses said that 68% of the potential risks would impact their operations, higher from 51% in 2011.

Different companies’ operations are linked. For instance, revenue at Union Pacific Corp., decreased in 2012 because the worst drought in over 50 years decreased corn shipments by 11%.

Tom Lange, a company spokesman, said that Union Pacific is decreasing emissions by improving fuel efficiency, using additional trains and upgrading the aerodynamics of train cars.