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What Impact Will Climate Change Have on the Security Industry? – Part One

What Impact Will Climate Change Have on the Security Industry? – Part One
12 May 2022

Despite the security sector not being a key industry contributing to carbon emissions, it is expected to face significant impacts due to climate change affecting the environment and society over the coming years.

In this opinion piece, Julie Hulme, Commercial Director at Expeditious Services,  outlines the expected impacts of climate change on the security industry and global threat level.

Julie has worked for Expeditious Services since 2015. Julie began working in the Facilities Management and Security industry in 1990 and has experience in a range of senior roles within security and FM. Julie is a member of ASIS and is a committee member on the IWFM Northern board and Customer Experience group. At Expeditious Services, Julie is responsible for all commercial development and relationship management, particularly within the FM sector and with end-users. 



Picture: a photograph of Julie Hulme. Image Credit: Expeditious Services


Climate Change – The Risks and Threats to Security Services


Globally, we’re already experiencing more extreme weather – droughts, floods, storms, heatwaves – as well as new infectious diseases and re-emergences of old diseases, affecting societies and their economies. As these become more regular and more intense, climate migration will become increasingly common, supply chains will be disrupted, and civil unrest will become a regular occurrence. It’s expected by 2025 up to two-thirds of the world’s population may be facing water shortages, disrupting their food supply, driving relocation for survival.

With each social impact of climate change, additional risks and threats are likely to be felt globally, especially by security services. It is estimated all regions of the world will have experienced severe risks to their national security and the global security landscape within the coming 30 years.


"It will be expected of security companies to support both businesses and the public to remain safe, mitigating and managing the impacts of climate change"


Five Expected Impacts of Climate Change on the Security Industry and Global Threat Level


1. Increase in Conflict


Resources – such as water, food, land – will become more challenging to find and retain, disrupting supply chains. Conflict will be more likely as people fight for survival, destabilising regions, especially those in the least developed areas. Wealthier countries will see increases in climate refugees, putting pressure on services and infrastructure. They are also more likely to stockpile resources for their own gain and collateral, further increasing the likelihood of friction.


2. Increase in Terror Risks


Climate migration, disruptions to supply chains and resources are likely to cause civil unrest. Together with economic instability, it creates a perfect storm for terrorist activity such as the movement of people and assets which is less likely to be noticed while there are so many economic societal disruptions. It’s also a prime time for extremist groups to recruit new members, using social media campaigns to spur their growth.


3. Increase in Risk Monitoring Services


Security companies will no longer be seen by businesses as a necessary expense to keep their business safe and compliant, but reliable skilled professionals who proactively monitor risk to provide best advice on business operations. Products providing intelligence to businesses will likely become more common, helping organisations to make the best decisions for them and their location, instead of guesswork. It’ll be critical for companies to establish a trusted partnership with a security company who can help identify emerging security risks which threaten their specific business functions.


4. Increase in Accreditations and Management Frameworks


When it comes to environmental matters, it’s no longer enough to offer ‘lip-service’ professing guidance and policies are being followed. Organisations will be expected to go beyond the tick-box exercises and bare minimal accreditations and will be held accountable to taking real-world action. ISO 14001 and other frameworks focusing on energy management will become a base-level. Procurement processes will investigate environmental efforts, with many companies only wanting to align themselves with others who share similar values and are taking active steps throughout their business to protect the environment and reduce climate change impacts. This will help with client-buy-in during the tender process and supply chain development.


5. Increase in Demand


All the above means the security industry will be heavily relied upon over the coming years. It will be expected of security companies to support both businesses and the public to remain safe, mitigating and managing the impacts of climate change. Security service providers will have then pressure to perform well, have reliable teams, excellent recruitment, and due diligence processes to prevent corruption, which could be more likely due to the climate change implications outlined above.

Picture: a photograph of a climate change protest showing several people holding placards. One sign says "There is no Planet B". Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Julie Hulme | Published 12 May 2022


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