Disaster Risk Management, Business Continuity & Public-Private Collaboration: A PwC-UN Initiative

UNISDR and PwC: Working together to reduce disaster risk

Authors: Oz Ozturk and Alexandre Cherix

Losses from catastrophic events such as natural disasters represent an increasing burden for multinationals. The cross-border interdependencies embedded in today’s global markets and supply chains are a double-edged sword, exposing businesses of all kinds and sizes to dramatic, systemic risks with growing frequency. Business and network interruptions, interrupted supply chains, commodity price volatility, profit warnings and even constrained GDP growth are all par for the course—and on the rise.

For their part, governments and international and nongovernmental organisations have promoted numerous disaster risk reduction initiatives at the country or local level—but too often without meaningful private sector involvement.

It’s clear that just as large-scale disasters don’t respect national boundaries or organisational structure, isolated approaches can’t be effective in building true systemic resilience. There is a better way forward, although it will not be easy to implement.

Building a global public-private platform for disaster resilience

In response, PwC has been collaborating with the United Nations, under the auspices of its International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), in an initiative focused on creating a sustainable, private-public disaster risk management platform, with the ultimate goal of creating risk-resilient societies.

This report provides an in-depth look at this critical initiative—along with insights on the disaster risk management approaches and experiences gathered from leading global businesses. It identifies challenges that are constraining efforts to build collaborative resilience, and proven practices that have been used to tackle these challenges.