Climate Change Adaptation

Climate change is not only a risk in itself to operational, teaching and research activities, but also a multiplier of many other risks. It is vital that considerations of climate change risks and how these risks can be minimised (through adaptation actions), do not become siloed within the remit of Sustainability or Estates Teams.

Developed by a Working Group of FHE sustainability and risk professionals, led by EAUC and HEBCoN (the Higher Education Business Continuity Network) with the support of adaptation specialists from AECOM, two Guides published in summer 2019 highlight why, and how, to effectively embed considerations of climate change risk within your existing risk and business continuity procedures.

The main guide, Adapting universities and colleges to a changing climate: Making the case and taking action, provides a range of support, from an initial self-assessment on climate readiness and an example Elevator Pitch to use to communicate the need for investment in adaptation, to climate projections, examples of risks, opportunities and potential adaptation actions, and a compilation of resources to support action in your institution. This guide can be found here.

An accompanying guide, Using an existing organisational resilience framework to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, provides advice on embedding climate change risks within existing risk and business continuity procedures at your institution. This guide provides step-by-step advice on running your own Business Impact Analysis workshops to evaluate the risks presented by climate change to key organisational functions, and deciding on the necessary actions to take to reduce any significant risks. The document presents a seven step process to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Plan (CCAP). This guide can be found here.

Additionally, case studies and example Adaptation Strategies and other relevant documents from universities and colleges around the UK are collated to provide further support. Find these linked at the bottom of this page.

Project Acknowledgements:

EAUC and HEBCoN wish to express their sincere thanks to all members of the Climate Change Adaptation Working Group, each of whom offered insights from their current institution and experiences in the sector to date in addressing the risks presented by climate change:

EAUC and HEBCoN are also grateful to all the universities that provided case studies, some of which are included in the Guide with others available linked below.

EAUC and HEBCoN are delighted that AECOM has sponsored the project, providing invaluable expertise in the field of climate change adaptation and pro-bono support. Their input has reinforced the value that specialist consultancy teams may have when addressing complex issues such as climate change adaptation if institutions have limited internal expertise. More information about AECOM is available on their website: 

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