For a business to succeed long term, it has to tackle challenges from a number of factors — supply and demand, market trends, technology and workforce changes, just to name a few. But here’s one you maybe didn’t think of: climate change.
The Collider, a new business venture opening in Asheville, will calculate climate change data and present trend predictions as an asset for businesses. The group will mine the massive data stores at the National Climatic Data Center, located right across the street from The Collider office on the fourth floor of the Wells Fargo building downtown. Located in Asheville since 1993, the NCDC is billed as the world’s largest active archive of weather data with 150 years of climate information available.
The data collected by NCDC, though a huge resource, remains largely untapped by businesses planning for what future climate patterns may bring. Will a particular region be mired in drought in a decade or face punishing rainstorms? Will it be snowier than normal or experience a warming trend? The projects and businesses that can benefit from long-term climate data are limitless, from construction of a new building to farming, shipping routes, landscape design, water systems, health care and disaster management.
Robin Cape, project accelerator at The Collider, says the consultant nonprofit group is not in it for the politics of climate change. The goal is to observe facts and create an indispensable business model.
“It’s a frank discussion,” Cape says. “When people see climate change discussed in a noncharged environment, they realize it can impact assets. The first step is asking, ‘What does climate change have to do with me?’ Then ask, ‘What are your exact needs?’”
Even small climate factors can radiate out and greatly impact how a building is constructed, the budget of an area’s firefighting unit or how irrigation and water systems are built. The Collider is all about helping businesses become more efficient at predicting and adapting to future climates — and potentially saving millions of dollars.
The venture, a private-public partnership, plans to open this fall and will house an 11,000-square-foot workspace that has room for 100 employees. The group also plans to hold educational outreach sessions for students and citizens.