New opportunities to ‘mainstream’

Initiatives and programmes have been instrumental in building business support for climate change action. 

The context we operate in has evolved and offers potential for mainstreaming, but understanding business issues, processes, drivers and barriers is essential.  

Climate-related financial disclosures are a new opportunity to engage with transition risks. A guide ( produced by IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries draws on the insights of financial and sustainability risk practitioners.

Standards present another opportunity. The ISO 14001 environmental management systems standard requires an organisation to consider its wider context and the expectations of interested parties, to enhance its leadership focus, and to embed a lifecycle perspective across the value chain. Organisations must also analyse risks and opportunities, and consider potential impacts of changing environmental conditions on strategies and operations. 

Many organisations use a form of management system standard (MSS); all ISO MSSs are based on the same structure, allowing for climate change issues to be addressed.  

This is one of many considerations outlined in the ISO Guide 84, Guidelines for addressing climate change in standards, developed by ISO’s Climate Change Coordination Task Force with contributions from IEMA. It provides a systematic approach, relevant principles and useful information to help standards writers address climate change.


Nick Blyth is policy and practice lead on climate change and natural environment at the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and is a full member of the institute. He has worked in senior and management roles in local government, consultancy and for the Woodland Trust.

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