At the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Portland Cement Association Chairman of the Board Aris Papadopoulos, CEO of Titan America, called on business leaders of the world to include resilient construction in public policy.
Papadopoulos said that just building “green” was not enough to protect human lives and business investment. “To me, the conversation on sustainability was missing one element—resilience. Urbanization investment over the next 20 to 30 years will exceed all such investment made so far in human history. It’s very important that this investment is resilient, so we don’t have to build it twice,” he said.
In the last 12 years, natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes have caused $1.3 trillion in damages worldwide. Speaking at the session “A Changing World: Business as Unusual,” Papadopoulos was joined by other business leaders seeking to build a consensus on a more sustainable course for the world.
He stressed that there is now a call for making enhanced resilience of a structure to natural and man-made disasters the first consideration of a green building. Improved disaster resistance results in the need for less energy and resources for repair, removal, disposal, and replacement of building materials and contents due to routine maintenance and operations, as well as disasters. “My passion is disaster risk reduction. Disaster losses can take back 20 years of development progress. It is a tremendously important issue,” he said.
The four-day Forum, organized by the United Nation’s Global Compact, is designed to bring greater scale and quality to corporate sustainability practices. As a showcase for innovation and collaboration, the event gives businesses and investors an opportunity to meet with governments, local authorities, and UN entities.