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Written by: Copperleaf

Panel Discussion Recap: Addressing Climate Change

The increasingly urgent topic of global climate change is forcing organizations to take action. At the 2021 Copperleaf® Summit, Phil Jones, Copperleaf Global VP Sales and Business Development, led a panel discussion on the challenges and effects of climate change. Guest speakers included:

The panel discussed the impacts of climate change on their organizations, the steps they are taking to mitigate it, and how to get started on tackling these challenges. David kicked off the discussion by sharing Endeavour Energy’s story:

Over the past 18 months, Australia has experienced significant bushfires and floods which have caused major disruptions to Endeavour Energy’s network. David discussed how the electrical utility is focused on figuring out how to respond to these catastrophes operationally and how to better prepare for the next inevitable event. Some of the key questions being asked include:

  • where is the risk in the network?
  • what is the highest priority area to focus on?
  • how does the organization balance risk reduction with costs?

When discussing how climate change will affect organizations over the next 10 years, Danielle explained how Guidehouse’s team of energy sustainability and infrastructure practice consultants is helping utilities plan for the energy transition. The company is seeing a growing need among its utility clients to understand the impacts of climate change across the business and start integrating sustainability into their decision-making processes.

The data will not be perfect and that’s okay . . . just start working with what you have today and focus on continuous improvement.

David Mate
Asset Performance Manager
Endeavour Energy

Claudia described how organizations need to change their mindsets and accept some short-term pain for long-term gain. Costs will increase in the short term to decarbonize and execute other necessary steps, but organizations need to take a long-term view and look at the opportunity cost of not doing this work and how that will impact the business as a whole. Furthermore, they need to look at the bigger picture of how inaction will affect the planet and the intensification of further climate-related disasters.

All the panelists agreed that getting started is the most important step. David explained that Endeavour Energy is turning engineering knowledge into quantitative risk models and moving away from looking at individual assets to using the available data to analyze populations of assets for more comprehensive and proactive decision making. David said, “the data will not be perfect and that’s okay,” adding “just start working with what you have today and focus on continuous improvement.”

Learn how Copperleaf can help drive your ESG strategy here.