Climate Change Adaptation

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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 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 the 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 guideAdapting 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 climate projections, examples of risks and potential adaptation actions, and a compilation of resources to support your institution.

An accompanying guideUsing an existing organisational resilience framework to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, advises the embedding of climate change risk management within your institution's existing risk and business continuity procedures. It gives a seven step process to make your Climate Change Adaptation Plan (CCAP). The advice includes how to run Business Impact Analysis workshops that can evaluate the risks to your operations presented by climate change and how to gauge the necessary actions that would reduce significant risks.

Find case studies of good practice 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:

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

The EAUC and HEBCoN are delighted that AECOM sponsored the project, which gives us invaluable expertise on climate change adaptation and pro-bono support. Their input has reinforced the value that specialist consultancy teams may have when addressing these such complex issues.

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