"Firms Start to See Climate Change as Barrier to Profit"

"As the real-world impacts of climate change begin to materialize and regulation of greenhouse gases appears more likely, corporate America has begun to grapple with a challenging question: How do you quantify the risks associated with climate change?

The answer depends on one's perspective. But companies are beginning to show increased willingness to disclose the extent to which they're contributing to global warming and what they're doing to keep it from harming their business.

'If we don't move now, it just becomes more expensive, more complicated and a bigger risk,' said Brad Figel, director of government affairs at Nike, at a Capitol Hill briefing last week sponsored by Oxfam America.

On Monday, the Carbon Disclosure Project is set to release a report surveying the climate policies of the majority of the S&P 500, in which 52 percent of respondents said they've set emissions-reduction targets for the companies, compared with 32 percent last year. Many of these groups also see global warming as a threat to their bottom lines -- including 84 percent of financial-sector respondents -- citing concerns including a potential shortage of raw materials and supply-chain disruptions because of severe weather. "

Juliet Eilperin reports for the Washington Post September 21, 2009.

Monday, September 21, 2009