Consequences for business

ZNU goes Zero - the facts behind it

Climate change is accelerating. According to current scientific knowledge, humans are the leading cause for climate warming since the mid-20th century. The years between 2014 and 2019 were on average the hottest since the beginning of the industrialisation (Source: Statista, 2020).

This development is caused by the rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere which have reached the highest levels ever recorded in human history. The projected climate impacts have serious ecological, social and economic consequences.

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 immense damage as a result of a changing climate ( ranging from an increase in the frequency of storms, through changing precipitation patterns (heavy local rainfalls combined with longer periods of drought) to sea-level rise and salinisation of freshwater lakes – to name just a few consequences that are foreseeable in particular if the "2 degree target" is not met.


Furthermore, dramatic social and economic impacts are emerging: increasing droughts, crop failures and shortages of raw materials, as well as climate refugees/migrations and even direct health effects of people on all continents. 

Effects of climate change for companies

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

  • Rising energy and food prices
  • Energy supply is vulnerable to supply shocks
  • Increasing uncertainty and volatility

Regulatory-induced changes to the market economy

  • Climate change promotes need for political action
  • Energy consumption is getting more expensive
  • Rising subsidies for low-carbon energy
  • Uncertainty about concrete measures will increase

Changing stakeholder expectations and consumption patterns

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


Source: ZNU-Weiterbildung „Nachhaltigkeitsmanager“ (ZNU training "Sustainability Manager")


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