Introduction to the Science and Business Impact of Climate Change
This course is important to the market today because climate change has become a politicized and polarized topic in the United States which has led to a good deal of misinformation about climate change and the business impacts of climate change. In addition to the misinformation, the credible information is disperse and difficult to assimilate. This course assimilates the information most relevant to an understanding of the basic science of climate change and to a business impact assessment. The course also provides an extensive resource list for deeper exploration of topics following the course. The foundation for the science of climate change is atmospheric chemistry so who better than chemists to lead the incorporation of climate change understanding into organizations. Businesses stand to gain benefits and competitive advantage from understanding the basic science of climate change and how to derive business benefits from applying the lens of climate change to their operations.
- Basic climate change science to be able to explain anthropogenic climate change to others in your organization from a scientific point-of-view
- Approaches to assess the impact of climate change on your organization’s upstream supply chain and learn what other organizations are doing to address these impacts
- Approaches to assess the impact of climate change on your organization’s downstream supply chain and learn what other organizations are doing to address these impacts
- Tools and techniques to establish and continually improve a credible carbon accounting system for your organization
- Tools and techniques to set and track progress against a credible carbon mitigation goal for your organization
The Introduction to the Science and the Business Impact of Climate Change short course provides the latest science findings on the causes and impacts of climate change and describes credible approaches to account for and to reduce the carbon emissions associated with your organization’s operations. An interest in systems thinking is the only pre-requisite for this course. The course is designed so that no prior experience or knowledge of climate change is required but goes into enough detail that those with some experience and knowledge will learn about resources to advance their understanding. The field of climate science, like chemistry, is large and growing. This short course provides a thorough overview of climate change and associated business impacts as well as an extensive reference list so that you can continue a self-paced learning journey following the course. The instructor established a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the North America operations of a Fortune 100 chemical company in 2009 before training was available but under the guidance of consultants. To help you accelerate the business benefits possible from applying a climate change lens to your organization’s operations, several examples of what organizations are doing to manage the carbon footprint of their operations are provided. In addition, several proven techniques and methodologies to identify risk, reward, and reputation impacts from climate change for your organization are described.
Who Should Attend
Target industries for course attendees: Chemicals, Crop Science, Material Science, Pharmaceuticals, Information Technology, and others.
Target job titles for course attendees: Executives and Managers with responsibilities in product development, supply chain operations, manufacturing operations, environmental impact, marketing, sales, corporate communications, recruitment, and training.
Target experience for course attendees: 5 to 10 years of business experience or enough experience with the company to understand how their function relates to the business, its key suppliers, key customers, key manufacturing operations, and key products/services.
Target job responsibilities for course attendees: product development, supply chain operations, manufacturing operations, environmental impact, marketing, corporate communications, and training.
A potential problem that the course will help the learner avoid is criticism from environmental NGOs that can be damaging to an organization’s reputation. The course provides the most credible way to approach the topic of climate change and carbon management that is defendable to environmental NGOs. Another potential problem that the course will help the learner solve is being able to provide credible resources to climate deniers in the organization so they can better educate themselves on the science of anthropogenic climate change. Finally, another potential problem that the course will help the learner avoid is criticism from managers and executives on the merit of establishing a climate change program because the course provides examples of business benefits from applying a climate change lens to an organization’s operations.
Module 1: Climate Change Science
Module 1 Learning Objective: Explain anthropogenic climate change to others in your organization from a scientific point-of-view.
Module 1 Purpose: The ability to take informed action starts with understanding. Understanding of a complex topic like anthropogenic climate change takes research and intellectual dialogue. An intellectual dialogue about a controversial topic starts with what we know for sure about the topic, the science: systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. The purpose of this module is to enable you to have intellectual dialogue in your organization about anthropogenic climate change so informed action can be taken.
Module 1 Content Topics:
• Definitions (Greenhouse Effect, Anthropogenic Climate Change, Global Warming Potential, Mitigation, Adaptation)
• Climate versus Weather
• Science of Atmospheric CO2 Concentration
• Global Carbon Cycle
• Mitigation of CO2
• Tipping Points in Climate Change
Module 2: Climate Change Impacts
Module 2 Learning Objective: Assess the impact of climate change on the availability of natural resources of strategic importance to your organization’s operations.
Module 2 Purpose: The risks to business operations from anthropogenic climate change are enough of a concern that 827 investors are members of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) to be informed of climate risks to businesses and of the steps businesses are taking to address those risks.
Module 2 Content Topics:
• Climate Change and Ice
• Climate Change and Water
• Water-Energy-Food Nexus
• Climate Change and Upstream Supply Chain Impacts
• Climate Change and Downstream Supply Chain Impacts
• Climate Impact Assessment
Module 3: Carbon Accounting
Module 3 Learning Objective: Establish and continually improve a credible carbon accounting system for your organization.
Module 3 Purpose: Tracking the carbon produced by your business operations provides a new lens to identify cost reduction opportunities for your business. Cost reduction from reducing carbon comes from improved energy efficiency in your operations and in your supply chain.
Module 3 Content Topics:
• Greenhouses Gases and Sources
• Scope System for Carbon Accounting
• Standards for Carbon Accounting
• Principles of Carbon Accounting
• Example Scope 1 Calculation
• Example Elements of an Organizational Carbon Accounting System
Module 4: Carbon Mitigation
Module 4 Learning Objective: Set and track progress against a credible carbon mitigation goal for your organization.
Module 4 Purpose: Taking action to reduce carbon produced by your business operations opens up reward and reputation opportunities. Reward comes from new revenue opportunities from offering your product and services to support carbon mitigation and adaptation strategies by others. Those involved in mitigation and adaptation want to work with others taking climate action. In addition, showing a commitment to do your part tomitigate against and adapt to anthropogenic climate change can improve your company’s reputation for new employees, shareholders, stakeholders, and society in general.
Module 4 Content Topics:
• Carbon Reduction Goal Variables
• Carbon Offsets
• Carbon Reduction Goal Timeline
• Business-As-Usual Scenario
• Carbon Reduction Target
• Carbon Mitigation Scenarios
About the Instructor
Dr. Valerie Patrick
Dr. Valerie Patrick, President of Fulcrum Connection LLC, is a consultant, trainer, and speaker with 25 years of corporate experience including 4 years as the first Head of Sustainability for Bayer North America (BNA). She launched BNA’s first sustainability report, GHG emission reduction goal, and employee sustainability education program. She led the creation of ACCO’s (Association of Climate Change Officers) core competencies and credentialing program as inaugural Chairperson of the Board.