All posts in Construction

Small and young businesses disproportionately bear the costs of climate change

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Report provides eye-opening new insights into the demographics of commercial victims of climate change. Young firms, which comprise not only the lifeblood of many communities but are central to national economies, do not insure against what they consider to be less frequent, extreme events, and are therefore, disproportionately bearing the costs of the vagaries of weather resulting from climate change.

With the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and unseasonal weather increasing as a result of climate change, Weather & Economics has reported on the far-reaching effects to a wide range of sectors, including agriculture (particularly for farmers of citrus fruits, avocadoes, cocoa, viticulture, and cereals) as well as for the sectors of finance, sporting events, travel, transport, automobile parts, fashion and apparel, construction, food and beverages, and snow removal, to name but a few.

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Paradigm Change: The Weather is Manageable

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Historically, companies lost money as a result of the weather, sometimes a significant percentage of their profit margins, and it was generally accepted that there was little to nothing they could do about it. But recently, the outlook has changed, and there is an unprecedented increase in the number of companies who insure, or are about to insure, against the consequences of unfavourable weather. Long confined to the ranks of fate, the consequences of weather on a business’s profits are now manageable like all other risks. Many understand and welcome this development, while others struggle.

Over the last ten years, we have met many business leaders, treasurers, CFOs and marketing analysts seeking to better understand the vulnerability of their business to the daily vagaries of weather. In most cases, the a priori assumption was that whilst weather was affecting sales, production costs, yields, prices or results, it was an external factor not worth attention, investigation or the allocation of resources. Whether the agricultural sector, manufacturing, transport, tourism, retail, mining, or beverages, the conclusion was always the same: these companies had always lived with the weather, and accepted its effects, and there was no reason to change that.

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Under Construction

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It is said that the road to success is always under construction. But what if the construction itself must be delayed or come to a halt entirely? A construction company can try to schedule its work around favourable weather conditions, but there is only so much that can be done if Mother Nature is being disagreeable. Traditional risk management solutions such as severe weather management guidelines and liability insurance have been inadequate in insuring against the delays and increased costs associated with the effects of inclement weather on a job site. Fortunately, new industry solutions are now available to address the increasingly significant risks affecting the construction industry.

It is considered one of Canada’s most enchanting places, where the mountains meet the sea. One might alternatively spot a moose, bald eagle or pilot whale while strolling the world-famous Cabot Trail coastline. The complex habitat of norther Cape Breton Island is diverse, its natural wonders and cultural treasures drawing tourists from near and far each summer. Of course, it would not be a true Canadian summer without seeing the other all-too familiar local summer highlight though: the ubiquitous roller, the screed, asphalt raker, or stone spreader.

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