Sue Adkins, International Director at Business in the Community, reflects on the Big Ticks, Highly Commended and Winning entries to the 2014 International Disaster Relief Award.
Over the coming decades it is expected that both the frequency and intensity of international disasters will continue to increase due to multiple factors including climate change, urban migration, population growth and increased scarcity of natural resources. In the aftermath of a disaster, working closely with governments and the humanitarian community, business expertise, products and services can be leveraged to reduce risk, build resilience and provide essential relief to affected communities.
The International Disaster Relief Award, supported by DFID, was created this year to recognise the positive action and relief provided in the immediate aftermath of international disasters, by businesses.
Five companies were awarded a Big Tick in this category, confirming that businesses have an important role to play in international disaster relief, risk mitigation and preparedness. Beyond cash donations the five companies collectively helped over 2 million beneficiaries, provided 800 skilled volunteers and gave 250,000 working days to support international disaster relief.
Read about each of these programmes and how each business has provided significant value by working in partnership with the humanitarian agencies, governments and disaster prone communities.
The inaugural International Disaster Relief Award winner is UPS. The creative adaption of UPS’ core business skills and technology to support the relief activities of the humanitarian community greatly impressed the judging panel, made up of five senior business leaders.
The UPS Humanitarian Relief Programme provides its long-term humanitarian partners with funds and in-kind support in advance of disasters which allows a more immediate and impactful response anywhere in the world. As part of the programme, the UPS Logistics Emergency Team, which provides warehousing, transport and logistics expertise, can be deployed within 48-72 hours after a disaster strikes. The timely deployment of this resource and expertise significantly increases the effectiveness and efficiency of its humanitarian partners, which include The UN World Food Program and the Red Cross. These partners have the on the ground responsibility for the relief and recovery of communities devastated by disasters.
Strategically aligned to their core logistics business, the judges felt that the UPS’ Humanitarian Relief Programme is exemplary and demonstrates how a business can provide both social impact and business benefit in a process of continual improvement, collaboration and investment.
For information about what BITC can do to support your business's international disaster relief programmes and strategies please contact me at Sue.Adkins@bitc.org.uk.