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Leading the development of International Climate Adaptation practice

Establishing international best practice for Climate Adaptation practice in partnership with the International Standards Organisation.

In 2016, Climate Sense’s team was invited by the British Standards Institution [BSI] to help promote best practice in adaptation planning in the UK. Climate Sense’s role in promoting best practice in adaption planning for the BSI resulted in the BSI and Climate Sense collaborating to develop a Standard/set of guidelines around adaptation. This initiative led to the International Organization for Standardization ISO adopting a BSI proposal for a full ISO standard, with a three-year timeline under robust governance for delivery. 

Climate Sense approach

Climate Sense’s team members led the development and drafting of the Standard, together, the team developed the first international standard on adaptation to climate change, ISO 14090. The team also drew support from experts across the world – including China, Indonesia, South Korea, Germany, France, Canada, Spain, Saudi Arabia.  


ISO 14090 was published in 2019 and covers the principles, requirements and guidelines for adaptation to climate change. It incorporated three major principles; decision lifespans, adaptive capacity and systems thinking. 

Climate Sense’s work on the standard was recognised by a BSI Standard Maker’s Award in 2019. 

ISO 14090 is now used worldwide to help large and small organisations, including governments and investment banks, draft effective adaptation plans, assess organisations abilities to adapt and to establish gaps in organisation’s adaptation policies, strategies and plans. Climate Sense has intimate knowledge of ISO 14090 and its supporting guidance continues to support ISO and major standards bodies such as BSI and the European Standards’ body CEN, mostly in standards’ strategy development. 

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