Disaster-Resilience and the Future of Sustainable Insurance

Building disaster-resilient communities and economies through low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive development were discussion topics at an event last month to launch a ground-breaking alliance between the United Nations and global insurance companies to tackle natural disaster risk by identifying the most effective measures to combat disasters and helping communities implement them.


The UN’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative – which brings together insurers from around the world to help communities manage risk – launched its Global Resilience Project at this event.

According to the UN PSI, “sustainable insurance” is a strategic approach where all activities in the insurance value chain, including interactions with stakeholders, are done in a responsible and forward-looking way by identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring risks and opportunities associated with environmental, social and governance issues. Sustainable insurance aims to reduce risk, develop innovative solutions, improve business performance, and contribute to environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The first phase of the PSI Global Resilience Project assessed the effectiveness of a range of disaster risk reduction measures across the three most devastating types of natural hazard – cyclone, earthquake and flood. The findings are outlined in a new report, ‘Building disaster-resilient communities and economies‘. 

The next phase of the PSI Global Resilience Project will see the development of a global disaster map to identify individual communities most in need of risk reduction efforts. The project will then seek to engage communities, governments and other stakeholders in investing in disaster resilience and in implementing the measures most effective in protecting lives and property.

“As the largest collaboration between the UN and the insurance industry, the Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative is showing us how much more we can achieve by working together,” said Charles Anderson, Director of UNEP FI. “Widespread environmental degradation, climate change and loss of natural ecosystems are exacerbating disaster risk. Collaborative action is a must.”

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