• 27-MAY-2014

UN’s new push to revolutionise business world’s approach to disaster risk

NEW YORK, 27 May 2014 -- The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has launched the R!SE Initiative to mainstream disaster risk management into corporate planning and investment decision-making.

The R!SE initiative brings together leading names in business, investment, insurance, the public sector, business education and civil society to develop and promote global standards on risk metrics and voluntary industry standards for disaster risk-sensitive investment following ten years of record-breaking economic losses and disruption.

This new partnership comprises PwC, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Florida International University (FIU), Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), AECOM and Willis. The initiative follows on a statement by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that “economic losses are out of control and can only be reduced in partnership with the private sector.”

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, congratulated business leaders and UNISDR on the launch of R!SE, stating that this initiative “provides a new formula for averting economic losses from disasters, which are a major brake on economic growth and development. Because R!SE brings together businesses, investors, insurers, public bodies and educators, it can be the catalyst we need to bring lasting change to how we approach risk.”

Margareta Wahlström, Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), explained: “Corporate planners and investment decision-makers must be aware of disaster risk. They owe it to their employees and shareholders. Managing disaster risk is good for the world’s economy and will help avoid job losses and reverses in economic development from events which are largely predictable in scale and scope whether its floods, storms or earthquakes. There are consequences for ignoring the principles of good land-use and building regulations in any business.

“The goal of the R!SE Initiative is to revolutionize the way the world does business. Disaster risk is not natural but is produced by investment decisions and the range of factors that influence those decisions. Embedding disaster risk management in business processes is key to resilience, competitiveness and sustainability