A new global report by The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) teamed with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and others, provides compelling evidence of the growing impact of disasters on business, including escalating direct losses, supply chain interruptions and wider effects on performance and reputation.
The 2013 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction warns that direct disaster losses alone are at least 50 percent higher than currently reported, affecting business performance and undermining longer-term competitiveness and sustainability.
The report is issued by the R!SE Initiative, a new global collaboration involving public and private sector actors who are prepared to take leadership on disaster risk reduction. It consists of an alliance between UNISDR, PwC, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Florida International University, Principles for Responsible Investment, AECOM, and Willis, as well as other companies and institutions.
Despite increasing business awareness of disaster risk and investments in risk management, losses continue to rise. Moreover, the indirect impacts of disasters can ripple through economies and societies as a whole. At the same time, business depends on the capacity of the public sector to provide the resilient infrastructure and urban systems which underpin competitive and sustainable economies.
The overall objective of the R!SE Initiative is to make all investments risk-sensitive, while building the resilience of local communities, and the global economy as a whole. It includes eight Activity Streams that address business strategies, risk metrics, disaster risk management, industry standards and investment principles, business education, city-level resilience, and the role of insurance. By bringing together six connected communities—business, investors, insurers, the public sector, education professionals and civil society—R!SE aims to convene stakeholders who have the ability and resources to influence the future direction of disaster risk management. (See www.theriseinitiative.org)