5 August 2010

Bring me sunshine?

UK businesses need to be ready to face the risks and benefit from the opportunities that climate change could bring, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said today.

A new survey of UK businesses and other organisations carried out for Defra by Ipsos MORI has found that while many businesses have been affected by the type of weather that climate change may bring, preparations for the impacts of climate change are not well advanced.

Three quarters of the businesses surveyed were concerned about the effects of climate change on the UK and one in three (31%) had been significantly affected in the last three years by extreme weather such as flooding and drought.

However, less than a quarter (23%) had actually started to do something about the risks and opportunities that climate change poses.

The survey also shows that businesses generally perceive a changing climate to be a threat rather than an opportunity. However recent Defra-funded research has shown that the impacts of climate change will present opportunities for UK businesses across a range of sectors such as construction and retro-fitting, water management, tourism, transport and food production.

But greater effort is needed by companies to factor climate risk and opportunity into their business if they are to exploit these new opportunities and areas for significant growth.

Speaking at the Met Office Hadley Centre, in Exeter, the UKs foremost climate change research centre, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:

“We know that some level of change is now unavoidable and it is the responsibility of us all to think about what a changing climate will mean for our health, our businesses and our way of life. By planning for the adaptation we need now we can ensure that the UK is best placed to meet the challenges of climate change head-on.

“A warmer climate will bring both opportunities and challenges for businesses of all sizes. I want to ensure that UK businesses are well placed to take advantage of the new opportunities that arise as well as ensuring they are ready for the difficulties that higher temperatures and more adverse weather could mean for their staff and working practices.”


  1. Hi Grahame,
    Your post mentions a survey has been carried out. Has anybody written any good advice or ideas on this subject yet? I am a plumber with a loyal customer base and I would like to make sure that when I am doing work for them that I can offer them a alternative solution not only that is a "fix" today but would help "future-proof" as we go.

  2. Grahame,
    We were thrilled to see the comment from Mike Brierley to your blog of 5th August – Bring Me Sunshine?
    Why were we thrilled? Well, the more we can get the nation asking and talking about water efficiency in the home the better!
    The Bathroom Manufacturers Association – The Voice of the Industry - has been leading the push for Water and Energy Efficient Bathrooms for the last few years and its work is now recognised by government and non-governmental organisations such DEFRA, CLG, Waterwise and the Energy Saving Trust. There are others.
    Spearheading our campaign is the award-winning Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme and we’d like to point Mike in its direction at www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk/ Here Mike can browse a database of water efficient bathroom products which are the best in the business. All the 1000+ products listed can be regarded as future proof and all are leading edge in water saving technology. Furthermore using water wisely, and particularly hot water, also means great energy savings and lower fuel bills will result. So these would be the best products to offer his customers.
    Further advice can be found on The BMA website at www.bathroom-association.org where a factsheet, Lets Use Water Wisely, can be downloaded to help his customers understand how bathrooms can play a major part in saving water in the home.
    Yvonne Orgill, chief executive, BMA