Inaugural survey on the state of corporate adaptation underway

Author: William G. Gilroy


The University of Notre Dame’s Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN) and Four Twenty Seven, with support from Business for Social Responsibility, have launched the inaugural State of Corporate Adaptation survey to provide unprecedented insight on how private sector players are addressing the need to adapt complex business operations to a changing climate.

The goal of this survey is to understand whether and how corporations are preparing for the physical impacts of climate change. The survey data will help further collective understanding of best practices, barriers and enablers, and strategies to prepare for climate change in the corporate world.

The need for the survey is driven by a growing understanding of climate risk. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report ranks failure to adapt to climate change as fifth among 28 risks that could harm countries or industries. For the past several years, the CDP supply-chain analysis has revealed that more than 70 percent of corporate respondents envisioned risks to their supply chain from climate disruption.

The survey can be accessed here. All responses must be received by April 5 (Sunday). Survey responses are confidential. Individual responses will not be published. Aggregated survey results will be released in a public report summarizing corporate adaptation practices along with practical guidance and ideas for next steps in corporate adaptation at the National Adaptation Forum on May 11 (Monday).

The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index is a practical solution to the world’s climate problem. It promotes adaptation by identifying the places most vulnerable to extreme weather and changing climate and identifying real-world solutions that can prevent these changes from becoming disasters. Its flagship asset is the free and open-source Country Index, the world’s leading index showing which countries are prepared to handle global changes brought about by overcrowding, resource-constraints and climate disruption.

Its mission is to enhance the world’s understanding of the importance of adaptation and inform private and public investments in vulnerable communities. ND-GAIN is part of the Climate Change Adaptation Program of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), a Strategic Research Initiative focused on “science serving society,” and draws resources from across the campus.

Four Twenty Seven is an award-winning climate risk consulting firm dedicated to providing innovative tools and services to organizations seeking to understand climate impacts, assess risks to their operations or their stakeholders, and increase their resilience by developing and implementing climate adaptation measures. Its applications blend economic modeling and climate science to deliver actionable intelligence. It serves Fortune 500 corporations concerned that extreme weather events will disrupt their supplier network, halt operations and cost millions of dollars in lost production and sales. Its supply chain application, developed in partnership with Climate Earth, is the first enterprise-quality application enabling large corporations to quickly map and quantify global supply chain risks due to climate change. The application was awarded the 2014 Environmental Business Journal Award for Technology Merit in Climate Change Risk Management. Four Twenty Seven was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. The name Four Twenty Seven is a reference to California’s 2020 emissions target, 427 million metric tons of carbon.

Since 1992, Business for Social Responsibility has been providing socially responsible business solutions to many of the world’s leading corporations. Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and China, Business for Social Responsibility is a nonprofit business association that serves its 250 member companies and other Global 1000 enterprises. Through advisory services, convenings and research, BSR works with corporations and concerned stakeholders of all types to create a more just and sustainable global economy.

Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312-894-9028,