October 2016

Hans Sy Echoes UNISDR’S Call to Incorporate Disaster Resiliency into Business Models

Craig Fugate (middle), Administrator of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, with ARISE board members Sandra Wu of Kokusai Kogyo and Hans Sy of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

Craig Fugate (middle), Administrator of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, with ARISE board members Sandra Wu of Kokusai Kogyo and Hans Sy of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

SM Prime President Hans Sy has renewed his commitment to incorporate disaster resiliency into business models in accordance with the call of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Sy made the commitment during the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilience Societies meeting in Washington DC held recently. Sy is the only Filipino international board member of the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance which is also called as ARISE. SM Prime is the secretariat of the ARISE Philippine.

“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 said.

During the meeting, UNISDR has called on business leaders to make the risks posed by natural and man-made hazards to be put front and center in investment choices in order to curb disaster-related economic damage around the globe.

Taking note of the frequency and intensity of weather hazards such as 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.

More than 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 which is also linked tightly 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 DRRM and how to adopt them in their business operations and bring them to the communities where they 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 said.