CH2M’s Dale Sands elected Chair of ARISE-US, the United Nations Private Sector Initiative to Create Risk Resilient Societies
DENVER – CH2M’s Dale Sands, senior vice president and global practice director for the private sector, was elected Chairperson for ARISE-US on October 13, International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. ARISE was launched by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction to create greater understanding of disaster risk in the business community, safeguard future investments and reduce economic losses from disasters.
The UN ARISE network has global membership of more than 140 leading corporations active in 150 countries. Sands was elected at a meeting in Miami of private sector representatives from key American companies to form the US network of the global initiative.
Matthew Sutton, president of CH2M’s private sector business stated, “Dale is well suited to lead this effort. His vision and thought leadership position in resiliency and climate adaptation are well known in the industry, and his collaborative style delivers successful results for clients and partners.”
Sands has deep experience in climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction having served as Vice Chair, UN Private Sector Advisory Group for International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Working with IBM, Sands developed the first Disaster Resilience Scorecard based on the UN’s Ten Essentials for Disaster Risk Reduction. The Scorecard, an innovative tool to assess preparedness of communities to respond to and recover from natural disasters, has received international acclaim, was recognized as a UNISDR best practice and received the 2015 Notre Dame Climate Adaptation Index Prize. Sands has also developed a private sector business resilience tool.
A frequently invited speaker at global risk reduction and climate adaptation forums, Sands was a featured panelist at the 2017 United Nations Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Cancun, Mexico. He is the author of Protecting your investments: 10 ways reduce infrastructure risk and increase resiliency.
As Chairperson, Sands stated: “ARISE-US supports implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the global plan to reduce disaster losses adopted by UN Member States. We will leverage the key role of the private sector in building resilience and reducing damage to critical infrastructure.”
Capital losses globally over the last 30 years have increased nearly threefold due to meteorological, geophysical, hydrological and climatological events. Global capital losses estimated by the UNISDR exceed $1.3T. With insurance covering 56% of the losses in North America (much less in other countries), there is great motivation for companies to protect and harden operating assets. In the US, both the SEC and Standard & Poors have initiated actions to rate companies on their vulnerability to disasters. Major asset-intensive business sectors (oil & gas, chemical, high technology/data centers, mining, manufacturing and automotive) have been the most proactive at evaluating vulnerability and starting corrective actions. Impacts from recent hurricanes in the Southeast Atlantic, wildfires in California and earthquakes in Mexico have underscored public and private sector vulnerability.
CH2M has performed 1,000 disaster risk reduction and resiliency projects from development of plans to implementation of climate adaptation, and was the 2016 recipient of a Climate Change Business Journal Award for Best Practices in Climate Adaptation with Newmont Mining.
CH2M leads the professional services industry delivering sustainable solutions benefiting societal, environmental and economic outcomes with the development of infrastructure and industry. In this way, CH2Mers make a positive difference providing consulting, design, engineering and management services for clients in water; environment and nuclear; transportation; energy and industrial markets, from iconic infrastructure to global programs like the Olympic Games. Ranked among the World’s Most Ethical Companies and top firms in environmental consulting and program management, CH2M in 2016 became the first professional services firm honored with the World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for efforts advancing sustainable development. Connect with CH2M at www.ch2m.com; LinkedIn; Twitter; and Facebook.