New Coalition Focuses on Climate Risk Impact on Workforce

The National Commission on Climate and Workforce Health aims to guide employers in mitigating climate risk's impact on employee wellbeing and business performance.
By: | April 22, 2024
extreme heat

The National Commission on Climate and Workforce Health, a new business and health coalition, is calling attention to the impact of climate risk on employee health and business performance.

The Commission, comprising a diverse group of U.S. business leaders and public health and safety experts, aims to help employers assess and mitigate the growing threats posed by various climate-related threats to human health and business operations. These threats include extreme heat, poor air quality, unprecedented storms, and vector-borne illnesses.

The Commission was created by the Health Action Alliance in partnership with Mercer, with strategic input from the CDC Foundation and additional support from Elevance Health and The Hartford.

“Building resilience will take more than policy change. It will require the active leadership of the private sector,” said Dr. David Michaels, former assistant secretary of labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and a Commission member.

The Commission’s formation was accompanied by the release of a report that analyzes recent research on the impact of climate risk on employee health.

Key insights from the analysis reveal that while 60% of U.S. employers feel moderately prepared to manage the impacts of climate change on their workforce, only 17% believe they are very prepared. Furthermore, only 17% of global CEOs have implemented strategies to protect employees from the impact of climate risk.

The report also highlights that 62% of people in the U.S. with employer-based insurance have at least one chronic condition that can be exacerbated by extreme heat or poor air quality. Additionally, 62% of U.S. workers are worried about the impact of our changing climate on their health.

The Commission plans to raise awareness of extreme weather threats to employee health, quantify the risk, develop recommended actions for mitigating climate-related health risks, foster peer-learning communities, and promote innovative solutions to climate-related health impacts.

“Employees today face an array of climate-related health risks, which leaves businesses vulnerable to fractures,” said Susan Potter, president, Mercer U.S. & Canada and co-chair of the Commission. “However, there are many steps employers can take to improve the resilience of their people.”

To download a copy of the report “Climate and Health: The Increasing Risks to Our People-Powered Economy” and to learn more about the Commission visit &

The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected].

More from Risk & Insurance