Is climate change too risky for business?

Major public companies are reporting increased risks from climate change and related extreme weather events, according to a Carbon Disclosure Project study released Friday.

CDP said 45 percent of the climate or weather risks seen by companies in the Standard and Poor’s 500 are current or expected in the next five years, an increase from the 26 percent CDP saw three years ago. The risks are now in all economic sectors, and expected to hurt facilities, demand and productivity.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Dealing with climate change is now a cost of doing business,” Tom Carnac, CDP’s president for North America, said in a Friday statement announcing the report. “Making investments in climate-change-related resilience planning both in their own operations and in the supply chain has become crucial for all corporations to manage this increasing risk.”

CDP’s report gathered climate-related disclosures from the public companies between 2011 and 2013, and found that about 60 companies described current or future risks.

Among the risks the group found: clothing retailer Gap Inc. is spending more for cotton due to precipitation changes in China; Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. sees risks in $2.5 billion of their sales due to changes in the availability of water and Sempra Energy spent more than $1.1 billion for liability insurance due to wildfires in San Diego, among other disclosures.