Legarda: DRR in Business Sector is Not Just CSR

November 11, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda said that disaster risk reduction (DRR) is not merely part of the private sector’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), but should be at the core of business strategies.


Legarda, United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) for Asia-Pacific, made the statement at the Top Leaders Forum 2014: Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration for DRR, organized by SM Prime and the UN Office for DRR (UNISDR) on November 10, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.


“DRR is not only CSR. DRR and CCA should be at the core of business strategies. That is why we have the concept of business continuity planning, which the private sector should put in place to allow them to get their systems back in order immediately after a disaster without substantial disruption and income loss,” she said.


Legarda added that local disasters have become a global issue, considering the disruption in the supply chain of the affected manufacturing companies and stressed that businesses should think of DRR and CCA not as an additional cost, but as an investment.


“When you use geohazard maps and undertake multi-hazard risk assessments before building structures such as malls, housing or other establishments, and comply with updated building codes and standards, you ensure resilience. When you build resilience, you prevent damages and losses when natural hazards strikes, and you will see how you have actually saved because you invested in DRR. Resilience should be integrated and mainstreamed into business strategies, whether by multinational companies or micro, small and medium enterprises,” she said.


The Senator explained that the changing environmental landscape poses various challenges, such as extreme weather events being the new normal, which would likewise change the business landscape, but forward-thinking companies will see adaptation as an opportunity to innovate and contribute to improving the environment.


Legarda said that, as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) suggests, companies should know the disaster risks and how climate change could affect their business; mitigate and adapt to the changing climate by reducing their company’s negative impact on the environment; create business strategies that advocate for ecosystems protection and consider the environmental changes ahead; create BCPs that ensures business resilience and the welfare of employees following the impact of a disaster; mainstream DRR into corporate planning and investment decision-making; and work with the government and other sectors in finding solutions.