UK supermarket chain Asda has conducted a major report on climate change as it seeks to mitigate its potential impact on its business.
The company is billing the report as the ‘UK’s broadest study on the future impacts of climate change on a multinational supply chain’.
Paul Kelly, vice president corporate affairs at Asda, explained that climate change was no longer “a subject just for environmentalists”. He added: “Climate change is already having an impact on businesses around the world and across all sectors.”
The study concludes that 95% of all Asda’s fresh produce will be affected by climate change.
In an attempt to evaluate the financial risk of a changing climate, Asda has calculated that almost £370 million of value is at risk through sourcing, processing and logistics.
In order to formulate a response to the threat of climate change, Asda is dividing up the severity of the risk into three classes: high, medium and low climate risk. For high risk areas, the supermarket has said that it will consider the other risks alongside climate change in order to develop an appropriate response. For medium areas, Asda will highlight a mix of simple measures and alternative crops; and for low risk areas, the supermarket has pledged to work with farmers to find simple ways in which they can adapt.
Moving forward, Asda has committed to repeating the study for its stores, general merchandise and home shopping in order to ‘create a more complete picture of the risks of a changing climate on all our operations’.
Kelly concluded: “The role of responsible business is to adapt to change, help others to do so, and work with suppliers and customers to make sure we cut carbon emissions and deliver a more stable climate future for our children. Asda is proud to take the lead.”