‘No Regrets’ Climate Adaptation: How to Reap Collateral Benefits

Have no doubt: corporate leaders can play a pivotal role in climate adaptation and in improving our collective quality of life.
To do so, however, they must direct their energies and innovation capital into putting a price on carbon, enhancing electricity’s smart grid, innovating renewable energy sources and supporting disruptive technologies like electric vehicles.
For those seeking more immediate action, look no farther than our extreme winters. Local and national governments have addressed this climate adaptation challenge for several years. It’s time for corporate leaders to become more aware of this growing effort to enhance our resilience to changes in climate.
Many companies’ nimble spirits will embody this resiliency.  Others will need to make significant changes – often with hefty collateral benefits – to improve their futures. Here are three climate mitigation actions that also create great climate adaptation:
1. Green roofs not only reduce emissions from (and the costs of) heating and cooling buildings, they also help lower the urban heat island, or localized extreme heat, and absorb excess water runoff from extreme rainfall.
2. Water-conservation planning and execution not only decrease the significant emissions associated with pumping, purifying, transporting and treating water, but they also help decrease the impact of drought and water shortages on your business.
3. Telecommuting and web-conferencing systems not only reduce your company’s travel carbon footprint, they serve as valuable tools when extreme weather events disrupt your office operation.
What’s the biggest collateral benefit your company can gain from adapting to climate change?  And set me straight here: What do you think your company’s biggest climate adaptation costs are going to be?