The head of SM Prime Holdings pledged to include disaster resiliency in its business models during the meeting of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) private sector alliance for disaster resilience held in Washington D.C. recently.
Hans Sy was the only Filipino international board member of the UNISDR private sector alliance, also called 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 demands of our times,” Sy said.
UNISDR has called on business leaders to make the risks posed by natural and man-made hazards to be put at the front and center of its investment choices in order to curb disaster-related economic damage around the globe.
Citing super typhoon “Haiyan” (“Yolanda”) and more recently, Hurricane “Matthew,” as a result of climate change, the UNISDR said disaster risk reduction (DRR) should be the topmost consideration in all business decisions because of the costly consequences of disasters.
Some 100 private sector representatives from different industries such as construction, insurance, retail, tourism, consulting and technology attended the meeting which was aimed at reviewing ongoing projects to build resilience and identify gaps to reach the global goals set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Sendai Framework, a 15-year plan to curb disaster deaths, the number of affected people and the scale of economic losses, was adopted by the international community in March 2015. It is closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
SM Prime has been spearheading disaster resiliency and 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 DRR and how to adopt them in their business operations and bring them to the communities where they operate.