Canadian Underwriter

Canadian business leadership critical to reducing climate and other natural disaster risks, PwC Canada says

October 7, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Canadian business leadership is crucial to reducing the risks from climate and other natural disasters, PwC Canada said on Friday.

Silhouette business people discussing in meeting roomThat day, PwC convened a group of private and public sector leaders to discuss the case for Canadian businesses to take action on reducing and managing the risks of climate and other natural disasters, the assurance, advisory and tax services firm noted in a statement.

The event marks the first step in exploring the establishment of a country-level private sector leadership alliance aligned with the global United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)-led ARISE partnership, PwC reported. Over the next year, PwC will engage Canadian businesses that are “willing and able” to take action on reducing the risks of climate, earthquake and other natural hazards, along with government partners and other parties interested in disaster risk reduction.

“The effective implementation of disaster risk management requires strong collaboration between the private sector and various levels of government,” said Kishan Dial, partner and leader business resilience, with PwC Canada. “PwC Canada is proud to be a catalyst for this important discussion, and we welcome the involvement of partners across Canada.”

Dial noted that Canada is prone to natural disasters. In the past five years, the country has experienced events like the Fort McMurray wildfire, the 2013 flooding in southern Alberta and floods in Toronto. “Through this initiative, we are committed to helping Canadian businesses and communities to avoid or reduce the impacts of natural disaster risks through the implementation of a new approach to collaboration and risk-based decision making,” Dial said in statement.

Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, said that the ministry is participating in the “first step towards the launch of ARISE Canada. We are committed to working with all levels of government and partners from the private sector to strengthen public-private partnerships and to embrace a whole-of-society approach to emergency management.”

Goodale pointed out that the upcoming National Roundtable on Disaster Risk Reduction in Montreal in November will provide further opportunities to engage across sectors on this important issue. “We look forward to working with the private sector both domestically and as part of our international commitments with the UNISDR to meet Sendai commitments for disaster risk reduction and build a more resilient Canada,” he said.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction includes seven global targets and four priorities of action, including, among others, to reduce direct disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP, enhance disaster preparedness and reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services.

“Through this national process of engaging Canada’s private sector, PwC in coordination with partners will seek to enable companies to incorporate natural hazard risk information to better understand the underlying drivers of risk, and then to apply concrete approaches to improve decision-making and to manage risks to assets, supply chains, customers and the communities in which they operate,” the statement said. “Major disasters over the past decade in Canada have been distressing yet important reminders of the direct connections between economic, ecological and human systems.”

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