By RTCC Staff
Top businesses including Microsoft, Unilever, Starbucks and Intel have revealed their climate change adaptation plans in a new database launched by the UN climate change agency at Davos.
The database launched by UNFCCC Chief Christiana Figueres at the World Economic Forum pulls together examples of successful climate adaptation from across a number of sectors.
“By showcasing private sector adaptation success stories, we intend to help both communities and businesses become more climate-resilient and to put the benefits and business sense of adaptation firmly on the agenda of the private sector,” said Figueres.
“Climate risks which affect communities around the world are always also business risks,” she added.
The UNFCCC also launched its Momentum for Change initiative at the annual climate change talks in Durban last year. The scheme champions climate change innovations on large and small scales, for mitigation and adaptation.
There have been a number of calls in recent weeks for the private sector to lead the way on climate change action.
A quick guide to some of the case studies in the new UNFCCC database:
The soft drinks giant made a pledge in 2007 to return all of the water it uses, back to nature.
The goal has led to increased water efficiency and recycling as well as a number of conservation projects.
As well as the obvious cost savings and environmental benefits, the company has also helped to protect its own water supply during periods of drought, as well as that of the communities living in the vicinity of its bottling plants.
Working with Conservation International and a number of NGO partners, Starbucks has been helping coffee farmers in Mexico to adapt to changing growing conditions.
It has also worked with academics to develop a number of vulnerability assessments and to model the effects of a number of climate scenarios on coffee cultivation.
By acting early, the company believes it can protect its own supply of coffee and prolong the benefits of its cultivation for communities in Mexico.
In partnership with the UK blackcurrant juice drink Ribena and the Scottish Crop Research Institute, GSK has developed new climate resilient varieties of blackcurrant.
With the majority of blackcurrants grown in the UK, the lack of alternative sources, made Ribena’s supply chain was particularly vulnerable to erratic weather patterns. Two varieties of Blackcurrant are already on the brink of disappearing from key agricultural regions.
Two new, more hardy varieties have been developed and grown commercially, protecting Ribena’s supply, and benefitting UK farmers.
The software giant funds access to relevant environmental journals in 107 developing countries through its Research4Life programme.
In collaboration with the European Environment Agency, Microsoft’s Eye On Earth delivers real-time environmental data to all users to monitor the progress of adaptation programmes.
The company is looking to build all of this data into a single “cloud based” storage facility, making it fully transparent and accessible to all.
VIDEO: The UNFCCC Momentum for Change project was launched at the UN Climate Change talks in Durban