Businesses must strategically invest and adapt to combat climate change – Catalyst 2030 Director

The Director of Catalyst 2030, Mrs. Pearl Uzokwe, emphasized that Nigerian businesses must address the multifaceted impacts of climate change through strategic investments and adaptability to ensure long-term resilience and productivity.

Uzokwe made these remarks at Nairametrics’ May 2024 Industry Outlook Webinar, titled “Climate Change – Resilient Strategies for Businesses.”

She emphasized that climate change impacts businesses, highlighting severe flooding in Kenya that damaged infrastructure and affects revenue. She advised strategic investments in climate-resilient infrastructure and technologies, noting that despite initial costs, these investments yield long-term benefits.

“Businesses need to be thinking about how to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure and technologies. Unfortunately, in this area, there’s no doubt about it, these investments can be substantial at the onset, but they will pay off in the long run,” she said.

Uzokwe pointed out that short-term impacts, such as disruptions in productivity, particularly in supply chains, are caused by extreme weather events like floods and droughts that affect the supply of raw materials and food security.

She noted that businesses relying on these materials need to develop contingency plans to support their suppliers and avoid being reactive to these challenges.

Additionally, she noted that extreme heat, which has reached unprecedented levels in many parts of Nigeria, significantly impacts workforce well-being and hampers productivity, especially for outdoor and labor-intensive workers.

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Uzokwe further stated that operational costs associated with climate change are rising, with increased power costs coupled with extreme heat challenging many businesses.

She emphasized that businesses must prioritize employee comfort and well-being to maintain productivity, even if it requires substantial short-term investments for long-term benefits.

Furthermore, the Catalyst 2030 Director stressed that transitioning to sustainable energy sources, such as solar power, is becoming essential in Nigeria as businesses recognize the unsustainable nature of current costs and disruptions.

Additionally, Uzokwe noted that increased regulatory compliance is another operational challenge associated with climate change. She emphasized that businesses must prepare financially and train employees to understand and meet global standards.

She stated that continuous data collation and process improvements are necessary to adapt to regulatory changes and improve revenue projections.

Uzokwe also pointed out that the changing expectations of younger generations, particularly Gen Z, influence business strategies. This generation is vocal about its preferences, including environmental responsibility. Adaptable businesses that observe global trends and adjust accordingly will thrive.


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