Does Climate Change belong on your SWOT analysis ?

          Most business managers re write their marketing plan prior to completing the budget for the coming year. A crucial part of said marketing plan is the SWOT – Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats.

          I came across an article on http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/03/11/1698091/paccom-commander-climate-change/ by Hayes Brown, which states that part of the US military leadership already includes the effects of climate change in their Strategy. I hope that if the military top brass can see the importance of it, it will not be long until the business leadership will catch on too !

          Mr. H. Brown writes: Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, gave a striking answer when asked about the greatest threat the region faces: climate change.

          Locklear spoke to the Boston Globe on the topic after spending two days in the Boston-area talking to scholars and foreign policy experts on the situation in the Pacific. As Locklear told the Globe, the changing climate “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’

          Among the issues that the Admiral cited as most concerning was the possibility that rising sea-levels result in the disappearance of whole countries, producing influxes of “climate refugees” in neighboring states. The certainty that climate change is a phenomenon to be dealt with has affected the way that the Navy interacts with the various countries in the Indo-Pacific region that will be affected by shifting weather patterns:

          “We have interjected into our multilateral dialogue – even with China and India – the imperative to kind of get military capabilities aligned [for] when the effects of climate change start to impact these massive populations,” he said. “If it goes bad, you could have hundreds of thousands or millions of people displaced and then security will start to crumble pretty quickly.’’ [….]”

          As a Swiss national i was literally raised with a military connection to my daily life. On one hand with military biscuits as treats and on another hand with the 20th century realization that an officer in the Swiss Army automatically raises high in his civil career. This anecdote as well as the conviction of Mr. Samuel J. Locklear III explains the source of my professional opinion and recommendation, that, yes, climate change belongs on your companies SWOT analysis. As much as your subsequent strategy should include the move of environmental sustainability away from opportunity and or weakness towards strength !

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          Daniel Koeppel

          Daniel is an environmental sustainability specialist with a hospitality background. He is passionate in supporting visionary hotel companies wishing to increase their environmental sustainability know how and solutions. Contact us now for a non-committing assessment!