This article was originally published on GreenBiz.


“Business success depends on identifying signals amidst noise. Key signals come from customers, suppliers and employees. However, business leaders also need to be attuned to signals from the broader context within which a company operates — including expectations of local communities and societal, as well as current situations and trends within climatic, hydrological and ecological systems.

Assessing these natural systems for business-relevant signals is worthy of attention today, this week and this month. The reason is simple: Misreading the climatic, water or ecological situation increasingly will be a significant misstep for many companies. Like the proverbial frog in a slowly boiling pot of water that fails to perceive the rising heat quickly enough to save itself, it is easy to miss small shifts that over time accumulate into significant (in the amphibian’s case, lethal) changes in context.

It is clear that as context changes, so too should strategy. Yet far too many companies have remained silent as significant changes take place in the natural systems within which their operations occur — notably climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, water stress and the many other natural capital and ecosystem services (PDF)-related issues unfolding in today’s world. Myriad business-related tracking tools exist for all of these issues. Business people no longer plausibly can say, “I didn’t know.”…”

Read on at: Greenbiz.