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Emergency planning is critical for a business to survive a natural disaster, political disaster, loss or incapacity of a key leader, or other catastrophe. However, it’s not an issue that most businesses want to talk about.
“Smart entrepreneurs, however, have a healthy fear of the unknown and regard it as a strong motivator to take action and protect both their businesses and the talented people who help them thrive,” writes Heather Ripley in a recent article from Entrepreneur.
Ripley outlines four key steps to develop a business-continuity plan for small business owners. The first step is identify potential disasters and their solutions.
Identifying disasters – the basics
Pinpointing common crises – car accidents, hurricanes, data loss, supply chain disruptions due to politics or weather events – are the basic first steps in continuity planning.
Going beyond the basics
We believe that performing a full product life cycle assessment will help businesses better identify potential disasters and their solutions.
Once you know where your raw materials come from, how they are harvested, your intermediate suppliers, the countries where those suppliers operate, the politics and climate of those countries, the modes of transportation in your supply chain, the demands and opinions of your customers, and the where and how your products are disposed, you’ll immediately be able to see where your risks are and how to plan to mitigate those in a crisis.
Even better, Life Cycle Assessment will help your business eliminate some risks well before a crisis begins. Maybe you will find value in setting up multiple suppliers in different geographic regions to decrease the effect of a typhoon or hurricane in one place. You could find that phasing out an ingredient in your product now, before that ingredient becomes a target for protest, may add a selling feature to the product, decrease risk, and decrease environmental impact.
If you want to know more about how Life Cycle Assessments will help you identify and mitigate risks, contact us or check our LCA services page to give you an idea of how they can guide your sustainability-guided continuity planning.