The biggest challenges that the Environmental Risk Reduction market faces: What to expect in 2020

Predictions for the environmental risk reduction market in 2020.

Bob Contreras, Executive Chairman of environmental risk reduction specialist Adler and Allan analyses a variety of macro-economic trends and challenges that we can expect to see in the year to come, including the issue of aging infrastructure and the consequences that follow, increased compliance issues relating to the use of higher quantities of renewable ethanol in petrol and biodiesel in diesel, an increase in corporate obligation when it comes to social responsibility and environmental impact, and changes beyond our control such as global warming causing adverse and unpredictable weather conditions and patterns driving businesses to review the resilience of their infrastructure.

We see an increase in corporate obligation towards social responsibility as global warming increases 2019 proved to be an active year for environmental issues relating to sustainability, globalization, advocacy on social issues and a growing number of natural disasters. The increase in environmental uncertainty has caused a key shift as companies begin to make important, positive moves towards being responsible businesses. Accelerated by the current political climate, the desire to genuinely have a positive impact and the demand from employees to work for a responsible business; companies have begun standing up for key values such as economic preservation, and as a result environmental impact, responsibility and humanity are now becoming engrained in businesses.

“As the impact of climate change is increasingly felt, the environmental aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is of paramount importance. We should expect to see an increase in corporate obligation towards social responsibility as global warming and environmental responsibility heightens; environmental aspects of CSR policies are no longer a ‘nice to have’, and this year will have to become a priority. CSR is taking a drastic shift from a policy that businesses have, to solid steps to address the climate emergency and the threat it poses.”

We believe adverse weather conditions and patterns will drive businesses to review the resilience of their infrastructure Environmental changes beyond our control, and climate change have been prevalent this year; with global emissions reaching record levels, we’re facing the largest environmental challenge to date. This challenge presents itself in a variety of ways, one of the concerns being an increase in unpredictable and extreme weather events, and the environmental impact this has.

“We can expect to see many changes to the environment, causing extreme weather events such as flooding, and temperature fluctuations. These adverse weather conditions and patterns are driving businesses to review the resilience of their infrastructure; businesses should be vigilant and be prepared for changes in the temperature both hot and cold and rises to water levels, ensuring this is a key part of their continuity planning.

“Businesses should take the time to plan for the worst-case scenario should a flood occur. Considerations such as if your business is in a flood risk area, preparing a detailed business flood plan, investing in mitigation measures, and ensuring that you instruct a reputable flood partner to assist with the clean-up should this be needed are all essential to ensure that losses to business is minimised, and businesses can resume as soon as possible.”

We believe the Challenges of our Nations Ageing Infrastructure is going to demand heightened maintenance to refurbish and extend life of assets Amidst large construction projects such as HS2 and new power stations grabbing the limelight, there is a reality of severe ageing of infrastructure in the UK.

“Historically and to date, we have seen investment in infrastructure struggling to keep up with the scale of the requirement, and as a result we are now facing a case of ageing infrastructure across key services such as utilities. When capital investment budgets are cut, the reinvestment in structural maintenance becomes key to extend the life of the assets; if there is little increase in the reinvestment in this area, then it is essential that these ageing assets are maintained correctly.

“It is crucial that businesses aren’t cutting short on maintenance regimes. Investing in correct maintenance regimes can successfully extend the effective life of our critical assets ensuring our infrastructure remains as safe and operative as possible”.

We believe the increase of biofuels will demand a stricter maintenance regime for fuel tanks. As the global environment changes, there is an urgency to search for an alternative to fossil fuels. One solution has been to introduce biofuels, which is fuel produced from organic material – including plant materials and waste.

The addition of these biofuels increases efficiency and lowers emissions. These modern fuel formulations are a greener option; however, they present some challenges. The way in which biofuels are stored, and the consequences that follow calls for a stricter maintenance regime of tanks.

“Gauging the sustainability of biofuels is complex, however as the integration of them is slowly on the rise, the storage of the liquid needs to be carefully considered.

“The fatty acid methyl ester content in biofuels causes clouding, congeals and consequently means tank filters can clog. Therefore, as businesses use biofuels; it is important to integrate heightened tank maintenance and water management to preserve the lifecycle of storage tank assets. If not managed correctly businesses” tank assets could be at risk, leading to unwanted downtime for businesses.

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