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Climate change may seem irrelevant when it comes to your long-term business plan, but its myriad of impacts have long-term effects on corporations and SMEs alike. Climate issues from extreme weather and unpredictable floods to the rise in haze pollution can cause disruptions to the supply chain, production and productivity.


Naturally, the first step to overcoming any obstacle is to understand it. How does climate change impact businesses, and how can we adapt to overcome these new challenges?

Impact on Health and Medical Costs

Employees are an essential part of any business. Naturally, the well-being of our workforce is important, which is where insurance costs come in.


How can climate change impact our well-being and health? Frequent extreme weather events (e.g. heatwaves, haze and heavy floods) can create an unsafe environment and increase the chances of climate-sensitive health risks – such as physical injuries, respiratory illnesses and mental health.*


Over time, these risks can lead to the rise of medical, insurance and health equipment cost like HEPA filters, masks and more.   


Fighting climate change is not an easy task and takes much effort from all parties. However, there are small and easy ways that businesses can do to ensure the wellbeing of its people – such as allowing flexible working hours, ensuring a safe working environment and conducting a company-wide initiatives to encourage sustainable practices in the company.

Wage Costs

One tangible impact on businesses caused by climate change is the effect on labour. Researchers have predicted a decrease in labour supply and productivity in future, especially in tropical climates like Malaysia, where heat stress is naturally higher**.


It is a challenging issue, since employee wages take up an essential fraction of ongoing costs. A balance is needed to ensure the business stays profitable while ensuring wage costs still meet local standards and employee needs.


Businesses should consider what is needed to transition to a low-greenhouse economy***. Measures need to be taken for the business to adapt to our declining environment and evolving financial climate.

Energy Costs

Energy powers our way of living and is a keystone when it comes to tackling global warming. The way energy is used by society, the government, and businesses play a heavy role in combatting climate change.


Continuously depleting energy sources leads to higher energy costs, impacting society at large. Not only that, but some energy sources (such as when generated by fossil fuels) have a high emission rate, producing massive amounts of greenhouse gases.


How can your business help to optimise energy usage? The solution is simple: It is time for businesses to start powering operations with clean, renewable energy. Towards this goal, CIMB offers its support with an eco-friendly financing plan:


CIMB SME Renewable Energy Financing

Contributing to sustainable development, CIMB’s SME Renewable Energy Financing/-i provides 100% financing for the installation of solar PV panels. For competitive pricing and flexible tenure, CIMB’s financing scheme benefits businesses with:


  • Transitioning to clean and renewable solar energy
  • Preventing more negative impacts caused by climate change
  • Transforming into a sustainable entity for a low-greenhouse economy


Here are 4 ways your business can reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

Measuring your carbon footprint


  • Gain the necessary insight into how your company uses energy and how that contributes to your overall carbon footprint.


Converting to renewable energy


  • Climate change has resulted in growing options for businesses in Malaysia to switch to more sustainable energy sources.


Choose sustainable



  • Supporting sustainable suppliers is also a good step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and  encouraging sustainable practices in the industry. 

Encourage online meetings & hybrid working environment


  • Choosing to hold meetings virtually, or even forming a hybrid work-from-home schedule, can help to reduce emissions from travelling and thus reduce your company’s carbon footprint.


Transportation Costs

As our world becomes more accessible, the demand for transport will naturally follow. From a trip to the supermarket to everyday travels from home to work, transport is an essential part of modern living.


Unfortunately, the greenhouse gases produced by vehicles have also become one of the largest sources of global carbon emissions. Here are two ways for businesses to reduce the strain caused by transportation:


  • Investing in greener transport modes: Consider hybrid vehicles for business transportation services, as well as choosing worthwhile and eco-friendly fuel options.

  • Using larger containers: This allows transport businesses to carry more loads in one go, reducing carbon emissions and energy costs.


The effects of climate change on Malaysia and the rest of the world are prompting businesses globally to reassess the way they operate. There are severe repercussions that are faced due to our suffering climate.


More than ever, businesses must strive for sustainability and to develop solid risk management in response to the challenges: managing the various costs impacted by climate change, and shifting towards sustainable operations.



This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.








#Sustainable Business Insights