Adaptation Working Group

SBC membership offers the chance to be a part of industry-wide collaborations with other businesses facing similar sustainability challenges. By pooling time, resources, ideas and energy together to tackle these challenges, our members are able to influence change faster and on a larger scale than they would be able to achieve alone. Click here to learn more about our other collaborations. 

What is the Adaptation Working Group?

Along with mitigation (limiting climate change by reducing emissions) businesses must also plan for climate adaptation, allowing them to continue operating and thrive in a more damaging climate. Mitigation and adaptation are equally as important – the less we choose to mitigate today, the higher the cost and the amount of adaptation we’ll need to do later.

The SBC/IAG co-chaired Adaptation Working Group (AWG) was established at the beginning of 2022 to raise the profile of business adaptation, as well as lift business capability and action on adaptation. The AWG agreed the purpose of the group is threefold:

  1. Promote the understanding of the concept of adaptation and implications for businesses
  2. Learn from each other by sharing learnings and practices
  3. Hear from and influence what govt is doing around adaptation.

As a group, the following definitions have been formed on what climate adaptation means to our member businesses.

  • Synopsis: Climate adaptation is dealing with the impacts that climate change has on us, as opposed to the impacts we have on the climate.
  • Full definition: Climate adaptation is the process of businesses proactively adjusting to the current and predicted climate change impacts. This involves businesses making decisions to prepare for the physical and transition impacts of climate change on their businesses, employees, customers, suppliers, investees, and communities.

While the work that companies are doing around climate disclosure is helping to inform awareness and understanding of adaptation, the purpose of the Group is broader than just assessing and disclosing risks. It’s about what comes next, and how business strategy needs to change to reflect the changing climate.

If you would like to join the Adaptation Working Group, email SBC’s Sustainability Manager – Climate & Environment Charlotte Kootstra at [email protected].

“As a sustainability manager for New Zealand’s largest general insurer, I see the impacts of climate change on a daily basis – hence adaptation to these impacts is front of mind for me. We established this group with SBC with a view to building better knowledge and understanding of adaptation across the sustainability manager community, and helping companies learn from those who are already adapting to the changing face of New Zealand’s climate.” — Jess Rodger, IAG


Member Best Practice Examples 

SBC members are leading the way on climate adaptation:  

  • Zespri Adapting to thrive in a changing climate Report
  • Zespri Adapting to thrive in a changing climate Strategy Guide
  • Westpac NZ Agribusiness Climate Change Report
  • IAG – Three step plan for natural hazard prone New Zealand New Release

Further resources

SBC resources

Reports and papers

    News articles

    Podcasts and webinars

    • Managing the risks in the transition to net zero, the important of climate related financial disclosures – YouTube (2020)
    • David Hall explains the need for, and possibilities for, climate adaptation finance as people in the upper North Island clean up

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