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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

I blogged recently about why caution is warranted when companies expect – and rely on – new developments in climate solutions to solve their climate risks. But there was a surprise reminder that not just startups and new technology take unexpected turns. According to this post on LinkedIn, Tesla

“laid off nearly its entire Supercharger team, its new vehicle development team, and its public policy team [apparently totaling 500 people], after already laying off 10%+. Tesla just can’t afford to invest in Superchargers right now. Elon Musk has said as much: ‘Tesla still plans to grow the Supercharger network, just at a slower pace for new locations and more focus on 100% uptime and expansion of existing locations.'”

While the mercurial Tesla CEO believes this action was the right thing for Tesla’s current financial situation, Bloomberg wrote about a domino effect:

“Rivian, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are among the carmakers adopting Tesla’s charging connectors for their battery-powered cars, giving thousands of customers access to the Tesla charging network… The job eliminations mean Rivian, Ford and others have lost their main points of contact in Tesla’s charging unit shortly before the kickoff of the busy summer driving season.”

Rapid changes in business situations are not unique to small and developing climate tech companies. Large, relatively established companies can also take unexpected turns, creating uncertainties for those who rely on them for meeting climate commitments. Every company should anticipate disruptions in their climate risk management expectations and plans – no matter who they are relying on along the way. The first step is ensuring you have conducted a robust assessment of climate-related risks that includes the not-so-obvious. Our checklist “Identifying & Updating Climate Risks and Uncertainties” can help members with that. If you aren’t a member with access to this and other resources, sign up now and take advantage of our no-risk “100-Day Promise” – during the first 100 days as an activated member, you may cancel for any reason and receive a full refund.

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile