IBM, AECOM show why resilience is a winning business strategy

GreenBiz Group

"About 80 percent of the investment in a city typically comes from the private sector, so the private sector does have a stake in making cities more resilient. We spend a great deal of effort to respond to natural disasters, but we have not done very well as a society to plan response actions to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters," said Dale Sands, vice chair of the United Nations’ Private Sector Advisory Group for the International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, as reported by Greenbiz. Sands was talking earlier this year at a Sustainable Business Fridays conversation held by the Bard MBA in Sustainability program, based in New York City.

“It’s hard to be sustainable if you are not resilient. These two aspects are very interrelated,” he added.

Sands has spearheaded private sector engagement to improve disaster resilience. He led AECOM’s collaboration with PSAG member IBM to develop a Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities to evaluate degrees of preparedness for natural disasters, in connection with the UN’s Ten Essentials for Resilience. From applying the Disaster Resilience Scorecard, cities may develop a multi-year plan to improve resilience.

In the course of the conversation, Sands touches upon issues such as the importance of climate adaptation and natural disaster resilience; lists some of the major disaster reduction initiatives the UN, such as the the Hyogo Framework for action, Making cities resilient campaign and the Disaster Risk-sensitive Investment Program called "Project R!SE". He also talks about the major obstacles to build resilience and about the way businesses responding to these disasters as well as about their role in resiliency.

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