Skip to content
Subscriber Assistance+1 215 942 8342
Subscriber Login
Shop Here
violent storm jumping over the pier

Press announcement

Climate Change Risks Exposed: International SOS Data Highlights Urgent Need for Preparedness, Sharing Key Advice for Businesses

International SOS, the world's leading health and security services company, today highlights insight from the International SOS Risk Outlook 2024 report , shedding light on the profound impact of climate change on businesses worldwide. The report reveals important statistics, indicating a growing awareness among respondents regarding the significant ramifications of climate-related phenomena on various aspects of operations and employee wellbeing. This is not a surprise for many, as 72% of respondents believe that extreme weather events will have a significant impact on their business or people in 2024, underscoring the tangible impact of environmental shifts expected on business operations.

The International SOS Risk Outlook 2024 report also outlines the diverse consequences for the workforce, including increased health risks such as heat-related illnesses and associated decreased productivity. Extreme weather events also have the potential to lead to disruptions in global supply chains. Beyond the physical implications, mental health and absenteeism are also key factors, as climate anxiety grips people across the world.

Looking ahead; what will the impact be in 2024:
  • 48% of respondents reported that climate change anxiety is an issue that they have encountered among their workforces.
  • 42% of respondents think that their organisation is not necessarily fully prepared to respond to / mitigate disruptions caused by climate activism.
  • 41% of respondents think that their organisation is not necessarily fully prepared to respond to / mitigate environmental threats.
  • 26% of respondents have already reported operational disruption attributed to climate change.
Commenting on the medical outlook, Dr Philippe Guibert, Global Medical Director, Europe Practice, International SOS Consulting comments
We are witnessing storms, wildfires and monsoons increasing in severity in the past years. Extreme weather events, such as the first ever named heatwave 'Cerberus' hitting Europe, may become commonplace. From worsening air quality and the spread of emerging diseases to the mental health toll of natural disasters and climate anxiety, we are seeing a concerning trend. In fact, air pollution is the leading environmental cause of illness and premature death. The changing climate patterns are also leading to the emergence and spread of vector-borne diseases in previously unaffected areas. Furthermore, climate change events are also negatively affecting individuals’ mental health. This could be an immediate consequence from experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder due to a natural disaster, or from the constant exposure to the global catastrophic events, causing a longer-term climate anxiety and depression amongst individuals.

At International SOS, we saw a significant increase in the number of climate-related alerts we issued last year. Throughout January – November 2023, we saw a fourfold increase in climate related alerts issued to our clients, with 80% more medical climate-related alerts compared to the previous year. This surge underscores the critical need for organisations to understand the complex interplay between climate change and health risks.
Mike Rogers, Chief Security Analyst at International SOS, thinks that organisations should take heed from the losses that can be incurred by extreme weather events, investing in climate preparedness can help ensure a business weathers a storm.
Climate change is of course a key environmental concern, but importantly, also a critical factor intensifying risks for individuals and companies. Although until recently, climate change has rarely been seen as the singular driver of conflict or security issues, the impacts of climate change considerably exacerbate existing tensions, vulnerabilities and operational challenges. The cascading impacts of climate change can be the spark that ignites civil unrest, violence and security issues at high level, as well as amplifies existing political and socio-economic insecurities.

It is more important than ever for organisations monitor these events, prioritise climate resilience and incorporate proactive measures into their operational frameworks. This year, the International SOS Risk Map 2024 includes a layer which outlines climate change risks, an important tool for strategic planning. This provides quantified estimates of the impacts of climate change on the future risk of humanitarian crises and disasters. This risk index is intended to inform policy choices across climate mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and humanitarian assistance for greater resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Top Five Practical Measures for Organisations to Mitigate Climate Change Risks and Safeguard their Workforce in 2024:
  1. Develop a comprehensive climate risk management plan: strategically map climate change impacts on operations to inform mitigation strategies and investments effectively.
  2. Engage employees across the organisation: foster collaboration among HR, risk managers, and the C-suite to harness diverse expertise in combating climate-related risks.
  3. Enhance security protocols and prioritise medical preparedness: establish a system to identify, assess, and control health and security risks related to climate change. Understand the capacity of local healthcare facilities and ensure access to medical care during disruptions.
  4. Provide workforce with adequate emotional support solutions: implement programmes to address the mental health impacts of climate change on employees, such as anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  5. Leverage external expertise and data: harness the insights and support of third-party experts to conduct a climate vulnerability risk assessment and learn best practice to navigate the complexities of climate risk management effectively.

As businesses navigate the evolving landscape shaped by climate change, International SOS remains committed to providing essential guidance and support to ensure the safety and wellbeing of employees worldwide.

About the International SOS Group of Companies
The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives and protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, and your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity, and sustainability.

Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by over 9,000 organisations. This includes the majority of the Fortune Global 500. As well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions, and NGOs. Nearly 12,000 multi-cultural security, medical, logistics and digital experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,200 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days. Between them, International SOS employees speak nearly 100 languages and dialects in our Assistance Centres, Clinics, and offices.

To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: