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Disaster resiliency needs to be part of business model

Business mogul Hans Sy has pledged to incorporate disaster resiliency into business models in keeping with the call of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) while urging other corporations to follow suit.

Citing the people’s right to be protected against calamities, Sy who is also SM Prime president in a speech in Washington D.C. recently underscored the importance of other global corporations making the same commitment as he attended the meeting of the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilience Societies.

He is the only Filipino member in the international board of the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance, which is also known as ARISE.

SM Prime is the secretariat of ARISE Philippines.

 “Our commitment to disaster resiliency has always been at the core of our business and we will further find ways to innovate in order to make business more responsive to the needs and demand of our times,” Sy stressed.

In the same meeting, UNISDR called on business leaders to make the risks posed by natural and man-made hazards to be right at the front and center of their investment choices.

This, UNISDR said, would lead to substantially reducing the economic damage wrought by natural calamities worldwide.

Taking note of the frequency and intensity of weather hazards such as super-typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) and Hurricane Matthew recently, UNISDR said disaster risk reduction (DRR) should be the principal consideration in all business decisions due to the costly consequences of disasters instigated by climate change.

More than 100 private sector representatives from various industries like construction, insurance, retail, tourism, consulting and technology attended the meeting.

The meeting was aimed at reviewing ongoing projects to build resilience and identify gaps in order to achieve the global goals set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Sendai Framework, a 15-year plan to curb disaster deaths, reduce the number of affected people and the cut down the magnitude of economic losses, was adopted by the international community in March, 2015.

It is intertwined with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

SM Prime has been propagating disaster resiliency and calamity management in the private sector through the annual Top Leaders Forum, which brings together the UNISDR, government officials and business leaders to discuss best practices in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM.)

Such knowledge is eventually adopted in business operations and eventually disseminated to the communities where various companies operate.

 Sy had vowed to continue to do DRR to energize the private sector for a resilient Philippines.

 “Rest assured, we will continue to do this. Disaster resilience is not only the private nor public sector’s concern; it is everybody’s business,” Sy added.