Consequences for business

ZNU goes Zero - the facts behind it

Climate change is constantly progressing. According to current (scientific) findings, the global warming occurring since the middle of the 20th century is largely man-made. The past three years (2014-2016) were the warmest in history


This development is caused by CO2 concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere rising at levels never experienced before. The forecast climate impact have ecological as well as both social and economic impacts.

Ill. 1: CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, Source: NASA; Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) forecasts tremendous consequential damage caused by this very climate change (cf. ranging from an increasing frequency of storms, through changed precipitation (local heavy rainfall in parallel with more dry periods) to sea-levels rising or salinisation of freshwater lakes – to mention but a few consequences foreseeable especially when the “2-degree target” is not achieved.


Furthermore, there are dramatic social and economic effects on the horizon: ranging from more droughts, crop failures and raw material shortages to climate refugees/migration and last but not least immediate health impairments for people on all continents. 

Impacts of climate change on companies

Rising price and volume risks associated with raw materials and fossil energies

  • Rising energy and food prices
  • Energy supply is susceptible to supply shocks
  • Increasing insecurity and volatility

Regulatory-induced changes to the market economy

  • Climate change urges politicians to act
  • Energy consumption is getting more expensive
  • Rising subsidies for low-carbon energy
  • Increasing insecurity about concrete measures

Changed stakeholder expectations and consumer habits

  • Rising expectations in terms of corporate responsibility
  • Growing demand for climate-friendly products and services

Source: ZNU-Weiterbildung„Nachhaltigkeitsmanager“ (ZNU continued education “Sustainability Manager”)


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