The Global Adaptation Index: It’s a True Corporate GaIn
The Global Adaptation Institute, a nonprofit environmental organization, is putting the final touches on a navigation tool that informs private-sector investment in adaptation. And it represents a real GaIn for the corporate sector.
Pardon the play on words. GaIn™ stands for Global Adaptation Index™ and it is the institute’s new adaptation tool. It is a matrix that, using 35 indicators tracked over15 years, ranks every country's vulnerability to climate-change impacts against its readiness to attract private-sector investment.
GaIn’s premise holds that a multi-billion dollar gap exists between government and NGO investment in adaptation and what ultimately is needed. Private-sector resources are necessary to help fill that gap. I consider this a worthy matter for corporate attention since climate-adaptation investments in emerging economies provide collateral benefits to the private sector. And we recognize that today, companies want to see a positive impact on their bottom line from their social responsibility investments.
You can tell the tool was created by experts steeped in the multilateral development field. The data sets are enormous, the analysis seems foolproof, the goals are laudable – and it assumes the private sector embraces philanthropy for philanthropy’s sake. So, when using the tool, it’s up to you to find the business value.
Certainly, business value can emerge when a corporation invests to shore up infrastructure for climate-change adaptation. Say, to better protect its off-shore cloud-computing data or to ensure that a primary supplier’s employees can get to work during severe weather conditions. And determining which countries have the most water or agricultural vulnerability will help all of us make better business decisions, while making sure our supply chains are resilient.
We have a lot to gain from GaIn.