Extreme weather takes heavy toll on Canadian businesses – KPMG

Businesses report increased costs and other weather-related fallout

Extreme weather takes heavy toll on Canadian businesses – KPMG

Catastrophe & Flood

By Mika Pangilinan

Nearly 60% of Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have been directly impacted by this year’s onslaught of extreme weather events, according to a new survey by KPMG.  

With catastrophes ranging from wildfires and storms to floods and heat domes, SMBs in Canada were found to have experienced facility damage, supply chain interruptions, increased operational costs, insurance claims, and lost revenues. 

As revealed by the KPMG Private Enterprise Business Survey, 54% saw a substantial rise in their overall costs, while 44% reported direct losses in revenue.

Moreover, 51% of SMBs experienced disruptions in their supply chain, and 45% stated that their facilities suffered damage. 

Additionally, 41% of those surveyed said they had to relocate their operations or move to alternative facilities. 

The impact also extended beyond the businesses’ bottom line, with 44% stating that their employees had been directly affected by weather-related events. 

“Our survey reveals that climate-driven disasters are having a devastating impact on lives, livelihoods, and the economy,” said Doron Telem, national ESG leader at KPMG in Canada. 

“An alarming number of companies—nearly six in 10—were impacted because of extreme weather events, and the year is not over. A changing climate means businesses need to make climate risk a priority to manage the costly reality of being caught unprepared in the future.” 

Regional trends

The KPMG survey also showed regional differences in the impact of extreme weather events. 

In Ontario, outside the Greater Toronto Area, 79% of SMBs said extreme weather directly impacted them.

SMBs in the province also reported significant cost increases (72%), supply chain disruptions (61%), and damaged facilities (56%).

Similarly, extreme weather events severely affected those in British Columbia (outside of the Greater Vancouver Area), Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Atlantic Canada.

“The wildfires this past summer and weather-related tragedies the world over, have intensified climate concerns among Canadian business leaders,” said Telem. 

“To address the new reality, companies need to have business-interruption plans at the ready and will also require stronger, more robust climate resiliency and adaptation plans.” 

What are your thoughts on this story? Feel free to comment below. 

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