Italy’s Confindustria business umbrella body and the country’s Civil Protection Department have signed a five-year deal to enhance the resilience of companies and reduce the risk of disasters.
A key feature of the newly-inked agreement is a joint action plan for small and medium enterprises, precisely the kind of firms that in many economies struggle to offset the risks posed by natural and human-induced hazards compared to their corporate giant counterparts.
It also aims to build a culture of civil protection through the active engagement of enterprises, citizens and local communities in designing and implementing preventive measures as well as in the response to emergencies.
Enterprises play a crucial role in the aftermath of emergencies in getting life back to normal, noted Mr. Fabrizio Curcio, head of the Italian Civil protection Department.
“Business resilience or the prompt restart of economic activities is a determinant both for the enterprise and for the recovery of the community,” he underlined.
Mr. Alberto Baban, president of the small and medium enterprises arm of Confindustria, echoed the remarks.
“Confindustria is particularly proud of the cooperation with the national civil protection, which allows us to express and make tangible the social role played by enterprises,” he said.
“It is of critical relevance to ensure that the solidarity network will immediately activate and react in order to face and overcome any unexpected situation, which is in the interest of the company and of the employees.”
The move is an important one given that countries around the globe are working to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a landmark, 15-year blueprint adopted last year with the aim of curbing death tolls, the number of affected people and the scale of economic losses. The Sendai Framework is also a key building block of the wider international agenda on making development sustainable in the face of climate change.
The Sendai Framework spotlights the role of businesses in helping to create a buffer against hazards, because of the part they play in the social fabric of their communities and in shaping the built environment. At the end of 2015, UNISDR and its partners set up the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies to harness the power of companies to achieve the aims of the Sendai Framework.
Confindustria, founded in 1910, is the main association representing manufacturing and service companies in Italy. It has a voluntary membership of more than 150,000 companies of all sizes, employing a total of 5,440,873 people.