It has been an interesting couple of weeks here at the CABA office. As all-winter low temperatures hit Andrew Square, one too many pipes decided to give in and… burst. Some would say, “Ah, stuff happens”, but we at CABA know that our member businesses would disagree. Here is our guide to resuming operations the very same day was robust resiliency planning!
There are two major ways to approach risk management in business. First is mitigation, whereby upon the occurrence of an undesirable event, an organization reacts by trying to reduce the negative impact. Second is adaptation, whereby an organization reduces its vulnerability by preparing for a possible undesirable event.
Being able to mobilize your business and quickly find alternative solutions, all while keeping up employee spirits, is no easy task. For mitigation measures, having standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place can give a business a leg up in a critical situation; employees will have predetermined roles and can quickly take action. Simultaneously, by implementing adaptation measures, such as increasing a business’ energy and water efficiency, a business can cut operational costs and build a physical system that can bounce back more quickly from an undesirable event.
By following this approach CABA resumed operations quickly. First off, the CABA team addressed an adverse situation by having SOPs in place before the event. We made sure that the entire team could communicate, had reliable Internet connection and access to work files. And, while everyone was getting work done, responsibility was designated to one of our managers to secure a temporary office location.
The main resiliency trick that helped CABA bounce back so quickly was the time and effort dedicated to fostering relationships with policymakers, member businesses, partner associations, and individual external stakeholders. Having that network in place has helped us secure temporary office space within several hours. Such a quick turnaround is easier for small and medium enterprises than larger companies. Large corporations would have different scales, stakes, and procedures, while small businesses generally have less staff and more compact operations.
Last year, CABA rolled out its revamped Internal Sustainability Program. Since then, we have fine-tuned our analytical framework to include suggestions for stakeholder involvement and management. As described above, CABA has already gotten some experience in managing an adverse event ourselves! Now our team is even more ready to help out any member business with their sustainability measures, community engagement, and policy action – all via our all-encompassing Climate Action Business Plan. Member businesses can get their Climate Action Business Plan today, and the CABA team will make sure that your business is prepared to tackle extreme weather events and climate disruption!
And, of course, stay away from bursting pipes!
Polina is the Internal Sustainability coordinator for the Climate Action Business Association. To learn more email her at Polina.firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. To make things even better, the CABA team is planning an informational webinar for you on how to become more climate resilient through energy efficiency methods. Later this April, we will do a live interview with experts in energy efficiency about managing costs and receiving financial support. Stay tuned! We will send you an update with registration info as soon as we settle in.