NASA states, “Direct observations made on and above Earth’s surface show the planet’s climate is significantly changing. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about two degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. The years 2016 and 2020 are tied for the warmest year on record.”

Climate change is impacting nearly everything on the planet in one way or another, and shopping centers have definitely suffered some of the effects. In fact, shopping in general has been changed forever in just the past decade alone. Today you can order almost anything you want online from your computer or phone, quickly and easily, and get it delivered to your home directly. For many shoppers who love convenience, online purchasing has not only helped them from time to time but has become their dominant and sometimes only method of choice. Others still love to visit brick and mortar stores in person and will probably never stop frequenting them. Right now, one does not need to choose. The economy, along with inventory and prices, may rise and fall but shoppers continue to find a way to get what they need.

One major effect of climate change on retailers is changes or complications in their supply chains. The availability of suppliers, products, energy sources, raw materials, and other essentials can be altered or even cut off altogether, so it is instrumental for companies to be prepared. According to BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), “There is a clear business case for companies to reduce these risks and strengthen supply chain performance by building the resilience of operations and communities along supply chains.” Their report includes information on 99 companies that reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 551 million tons of carbon dioxide and also saved $14 billion via climate change related alterations and improvements.

Businesses that take no action in the consideration and preparation for climate change and other environmental issues are at risk of huge losses. It is predicted by CDP - Global Environmental Impact that by 2030, approximately $4 trillion in assets are in danger due to the earth’s changing climate. Companies that brace for future success focus on sustainability, conscious consumerism, social and environmental responsibility, positive values, best practices, fair labor, cruelty-free products and operations, and other earth-friendly procedures and goals. Along with the ease of online shopping, an increasing number of consumers are conducting research and becoming more concerned with the characteristics of the company behind the product or service, rather than the item itself. Climate change effects are forcing shoppers to organize, prioritize, and choose wisely when they search for their goods.