Business in a warmer world?

As the increase in the average temperatures around the world rises, the melting of the ice in the North and South Pole will bring many changes in the geographical and political aspects in the world. In 2005, the world’s leading nation, the United States of America was hit hard by hurricane Katrina. Being a category 5 storm, it wrecked the historical city of New Orleans. To make matters worst, the levee which protected the below sea level city was breeched and many of its inhabitants fled, never to return. Compunding their misery was that many of the oil platforms in the Mississippi Gulf were forced to shut down which resulted in skyrocketing petrol prices.

If you think the grass is greener in other parts of the world, take note that Europe was not being spared of the power of Mother Nature. In 2006, England was combating the worst flood ever to be recorded in its history with two months of rainfall in a single day. In France, wine makers are fearful that grapes would no longer grow healthily in the country and have set plans to move some of their vineyards to the north. In Holland, Belgium, and Germany, concerns were raised on whether flash floods will occur in the coming years. Spain on the other hand, risks the lost of its sunny beaches as the rapid temperature increases will force beach-loving tourist to the Baltic coast.

Russia with its massive resources of natural gas might find that it can no longer threaten Europe due to the waning need in heating fuel. But as the ice melts, Russia might be the major winner as natural resources like petroleum long buried under the ice becomes readily accessible to its growing industry. Besides that, Russia would also gain through the increase in real estate and usable land (both of which are abundant and frozen in Siberian Russia). China on the other hand, has just recently utilized its ‘Three Gorges Dam’ to effectively control floods in the northern region.

As for South East Asia, Malaysia has finally launched its Smart Tunnel that could be used as a gigantic drain to combat flash floods from recurring in Kuala Lumpur. Among the biggest losers in a warmer world, our neighbor Indonesia might be at risk of losing 2000 of its islands to the raising sea level in the near future. As for India, the melting of ice in the Himalayan Mountains might cause massive floods to the plains below it. Clearly global warming is a force to be reckoned with.

 

Top Ten Environmental Friendly Companies

 

1.

Royal Bank of Canada

Wind, biogas, biogas

Audits environmental practices

2.

LaFarge

Wind, biomass

3.

Grupo Ferrovial

Cut greenhouse gas, recycling

4.

Westpac Banking

Cut greenhouse gas

5.

Yell Group

Recycling (award)

6.

DENSO

Lead, mercury

7.

TOPPAN Printing

Toxic chemicals

8.

Hewlett-Packard

Recycling high tech trash

9.

Adidas

X non-biodegradable plastic

10.

Vestas Wind Systems

Renewable energy

 

From: Newsweek

The table above shows some of the world’s environmental friendly companies. These companies are some of the examples of the efforts of halting the global warming worldwide. First, I would like to highlight the Royal Bank of Canada. Being the largest company in Canada, this bank has over 1,400 branches across the country and over 70,000 employees worldwide. One of the interesting practices of this company is that it audits its borrower’s environmental practices. Besides that, this bank encourages the funding of numerous wind, biomass, and biogas projects.

Another interesting company on the list is DENSO. DENSO Corporation which was previously part of the Toyota Motor Corporation before the Second World War is one of the top Japanese auto-component supplier. This company helps the environment by working to eliminating toxins like lead, and mercury from its products. Being one of the leading manufacturers of air conditioning for vehicles, DENSO plays a crucial part in being a role model to other air conditioning manufacturers. Take note that most of our Proton cars use DENSO air conditioning.

The Information Revolution brought a rapid increase in demand for personal computers and printers. Quite shockingly is that the largest information technology company in terms of revenue, Hewlett-Packard is also playing its part in supporting the fight against global warming. HP is a leader in recycling high tech trash whether it is personal computers, printers, or even high end servers. This American technology company is most famous for its ability to cut the amount of waste generated by its plants by 5% in a single year.

There are of course many more companies that are playing their part against global warming. But how do these companies actually benefit from their environmental practices? Surely no company is wasting money just for the environment. Well, sad to say, that is so true. Many companies are taking advantage from global warming. In 2005, many insurance companies took the main bulk of damages after hurricane Katrina. As one of the worst case scenarios, this category 5 storm also proved to be a business opportunity. Insurance companies quickly double or triple their premiums for coastal properties knowing that the likelihood of another Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast is slim. In one year, some insurance companies manage to achieve record high profits.

Besides that, some companies are using their environmental practices to boost and improve their company’s reputation. By advertising their various environmental friendly ways, companies like Hewlett-Packard, LaFarge, and Grupo Ferrovial builds up their reputation as a responsible, caring, and considerate company. Needless to say, investors will find themselves attracted to companies like these as the environmental practices of the company usually reflect its management. Also noted is the advantage of developing an early alternative resource of energy should the government apply caps on the usage of greenhouse-gas emission fuels. By adapting early, companies secure their future in the long term.

I would like to quote from the founder of the theory of evolution, Charles Darwin that, “It is not the strongest species that survives but the species most adaptive to change”. In the same way, companies must learn to adapt to the new changing environment whether it is global warming or globalization. Failing to do so might lead to the downfall of even the largest companies in the world. As we see some companies in the world taking a stand against the challenge of global warming and actually benefiting from it, we ask ourselves, what is our personal response?

 

 

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