As the effect of climate change is felt around the globe in various ways, ranging from melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and high temperatures, the retail industry has its own share of the melting iceberg.
Globally, retailers are grappling with the effects of climate change on their supply chain. These problems vary across geographies, based on their unique climatic realities. Extreme climate threats from severe weather conditions and chronic climate patterns are threatening the availability of raw materials and energy supplies, supplier operations, and local populations in the supply chain globally. And retailers that do not do enough to address environmental issues may have sustained significant losses.
According to CDP, an international organization that helps businesses monitor and respond to climate change impacts, $4 trillion worth of assets would be at risk from climate change impact by 2030.
In the United States, the apparel retailer H&M announced a drop in revenue for its winter line in 2016, citing the extremely warm winter weather as a reason responsible for the result. At the time, the temperature was not appropriate for buyers to buy clothes from their winter selection . In the same year, the American department store giant Macy’s laid off 4,500 employees resulting in the closure of 36 store outlets. The then CEO, Terry Lundgren, blamed unseasonably warm weather, which resulted in an 80 percent drop in revenue due to low sales of their winter products . Other regions, such as the United Kingdom, have had the same fate of unseasonably mild winter weather affecting retail revenues. The effect is estimated to have cost UK retailers about $120 million .
For all these climatic issues impacting other parts of the globe, Africa has a unique outcome due to the variability of our climate. Africa is one of the continents most susceptible to climate variability and transition due to various environmental stresses and poor adaptation capabilities.
The following are the aspects in which the Nigerian retail market may be impacted by climate change; read the full report here
About the Author
Henry Ukoha a General Partner at Climatr is a Cradle 2 Cradle catalyst, an avid researcher, and a cleantech enthusiast passionate about developing sustainable business models, developing products and services, optimizing processes and operations from an innovative viewpoint.
He is driven by his intense passion for the environment and approaches his work from a systems perspective with special attention to the circular economy and cradle-to-cradle design principles thereby positioning an organization strategically in the green economy.
He works with both the private and public sectors to achieve a more sustainable product/service offering.