Why analyse climate impacts of business in the form of a SWOT?
Collecting and organising complex and often conflicting climate information for business decision making can be a complicated task. Business decision makers appreciate a method, which provides an overall, though simple picture covering the entire product life cycle and summarizing the most significant climate aspects. Therefore, a new method of representing product related climate information in the form of an improved SWOT is suggested.
In a Climate SWOT, climate impacts in all main life cycle stages of a product can be taken into consideration. Also, qualitative valuation of the significance of climate impacts can be included. Further, the format of SWOT enables a rough, preliminary qualitative sensitivity analysis of the product sustainability by including the potential opportunities and threats in the presentation. Climate SWOTs can be constructed independently by companies, or they can be formed as a cooperative effort among both business and climate experts. Drafting Climate SWOTs in a common brainstorming session gathering both climate experts and business representatives can be a powerful learning experience about the complexity of climate issues for the business decision makers.
Climate SWOT can be the very first step for a company to start considering climate issues — or environmental issues in general. It can be further used as a starting point for a more comprehensive environmental management system, or it can be a parallel tool to complement an exiting system in climate issues.
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